Only 11 owe MC Rs 60L property tax : The Tribune India

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Only 11 owe MC Rs 60L property tax

Almost 10% of total Rs 6.12 crore arrears not paid by 11 of 25K defaulters

Only 11 owe MC Rs 60L property tax

Tribune News Service

Nitin Jain

Ludhiana, April 12

In what appears to be the height of default, only 11 property owners, both private and public, owe the Municipal Corporation (MC) a sum of almost Rs 60 lakh as property tax in Ludhiana.

It constitutes almost 10 per cent of the total Rs 6.12 crore arrears that the civic body has not received on account of property tax from just 11 of the over 25,000 defaulters during the financial year 2023-24, officials have said.

Despite this, the MC had created a record of sorts by collecting a sum of Rs 138 crore as property tax in the previous fiscal, which was the highest-ever collection so far.

Revenue to boost development

Record revenue collections under property tax and other heads in 2023-24 were made possible only due to voluntary deposits by tax payers and hard work by MC officials to ensure maximum recoveries. The more revenue collections will help in more development of the city. Those who have not yet cleared their dues are again issued notices, failing which stern penal action will be initiated against them.— Sandeep Rishi, MC chief

However, over 25,000 property owners have not yet paid their dues of more than Rs 6.12 crore for the last financial year, the MC has revealed.

With this, the total number of property tax defaulters in Ludhiana has grown to over 92,000 and the arrears have swelled to more than Rs 14.71 crore.

Following the failure of the defaulters to clear their dues till March 31, the civic body has launched a special drive to recover the arrears from those who had not cleared their dues despite repeated notices and reminders.

Besides levying penalty and interest, the MC will also resort to attach properties of major defaulters in case they fail to pay the arrears without any further delay.

MC Commissioner Sandeep Rishi told The Tribune here on Friday that the list of defaulters had been prepared and fresh notices were being issued to them, asking them to clear their dues at the earliest, otherwise the MC would be forced to initiate stringent penal action to recover the arrears.

“The property owners, who have not yet deposited the property tax or other levies, should do it forthwith as they had failed to avail the waiver of penalty and interest offered till March 31,” he said while warning that habitual and major defaulters would be dealt with sternly.

He said besides imposing the penalty and interest, proceedings to attach the properties as per the law provisions would also be initiated.

The list of major defaulters under the property tax as on March 31, prepared by the MC, included Samra International, with the highest arrears of Rs 10.55 lakh, District Administrative Complex (DAC), which houses the offices of the Deputy Commissioner and other district department heads, Rs 5.26 lakh, Jagir Singh/ Inder Singh Rs 2.67 lakh, Upper India Steel Private Limited Rs 7.41 lakh, AB Mehta Private Limited Rs 4.64 lakh, SEL Manufacturing Company Rs 3.85 lakh, GS Auto International Rs 6.38 lakh, Central Jail Rs 5.46 lakh, Gurdit Singh Jagmohan Singh Rs 5.96 lakh, Harnek Singh Rs 3.14 lakh and Jasmel Singh owed the civic body a sum of Rs 2.76 lakh till the end of the last fiscal.

The MC chief said the civic body had recorded the highest-ever receipts during the previous financial year since the imposition of the levy in 2013, with over 3.98 lakh property tax owners paying the levy while over 25,000 assesses still owing the MC over Rs 6.12 crore for 2023-24.

Divulging the year-wise property tax receipts, Rishi said property tax amounting to Rs 137.7 crore was collected in 2023-24, Rs 122.45 in 2022-23, Rs 92.84 crore in 2021-22, Rs 96.68 crore in 2020-21, Rs 84.25 crore in 2019-20, Rs 78.24 crore in 2018-19, Rs 70.4 crore in 2017-18, Rs 66.05 crore in 2016-17, Rs 69.44 crore in 2015-16, Rs 52.94 crore in 2014-15 and Rs 74.79 crore had been collected from property tax head during the financial year 2013-14.

Pertinently, the MC has collected a revenue of Rs 708 crore from different heads during the recently ended financial year, which was, however, almost 6 per cent less than Rs 752 crore revenue receipts recorded in 2022-23.

While the major hike in revenue collections was recorded from the property tax receipts, which had touched the highest-ever amount of Rs 138 crore, a jump of over 12 per cent than Rs 122 crore collected during 2022-23, the maximum shortfall of Rs 44 crore in the income was attributed to non-refund of VAT/ GST by the government for the last fiscal as yet.

However, the overall revenue receipts of 2023-24 fell a whopping 24 per cent short of the revised estimates of Rs 927 crore fixed in the Budget for the previous financial year. It was due to a shortfall in collections from five of the total 13 revenue heads in Ludhiana, spread over 169 sq km area with a population of 16.18 lakh as per the Census 2011.

4.24L properties

A total of 4,23,906 properties falling in the municipal limits are assessed to pay property tax. The MC had been sending reminders to owners of the left-out 25,075-odd property owners through public notices and personal messages on their registered mobile numbers to pay the levy before March 31 but they had not yet cleared their dues.

What helped

A sustained campaign to collect taxes, motivating residents to pay levies, facilitating the collections through online platforms, keeping collection centres open even during public holidays and last but not the least, issuing stern warning to attach properties and initiate legal proceedings against defaulters had helped the civic body in achieving record collections under property tax and other seven heads in the financial year 2023-24.

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