Published On : Mon, Apr 22nd, 2013

Property Tax Deptt staffers becoming richer and richer, and the NMC poorer and poorer

No revaluation of several properties done for years together, Standing Committee chief Thakre puts foot down to recover tax at present rate


Nagpur News: If a common man dreams of purchasing residential plots or flats or independent bungalows in today’s inflation-triggered prices, he will certainly develop cold feet when told about the costs he will have to cough up. But the situation in Nagpur Municipal Corporation’s (NMC) Property Tax Department is totally different. The department, awfully, is dispatching tax demand notices of mere Rs 200 or even less to over 60,000 property owners instead of thousands of rupees in the present situation. No need to guess. The NMC is incurring losses in crores due to no revaluation of properties since the past years.

The NMC’s Standing Committee Chairman Avinash Thakre gave a dressing down to the officials and employees of Property Tax Department for working shabbily and putting the NMC at loss. According to sources, after an in-depth investigation a dreadful fact came to fore that the officials and employees of the Property Tax Department decide on their own the taxes of residences, shopping complexes, other shops, flats, godowns, plots, offices etc in their respective zones instead of rules and guidelines for deciding the correct amount of tax. Again, no need to guess. The officials and employees of Property Tax Department get richer and richer and the NMC poorer and poorer during every drive on recovery of property tax.

The Standing Committee Chairman Avinash Thakre called a meeting to review the working of Property Tax Department and bitterly scolded the officials and employees for poor recovery of property tax after the March 31. He directed them to intensify the drives for recovery of property tax and accordingly, the employees launched vigorous drives following directive from their officials. They not only asked the property owners to pay tax according to rules and market rates but also doled out threats to pay the back dues as per rules and market rates.

It may be mentioned that the NMC has not issued warrants against the defaulters to recover a whopping Rs 75.18 crore property tax. The zone-wise recovery of property tax is as follow: Laxmi Nagar Zone Rs 10.76 crore, Dharampeth Rs 9.17 crore, Hanuman Nagar Rs 10.78  crore, Dhantoli Rs 3.48 crore, Nehru Nagar Rs. 5.86 crore, Gandhibagh Rs 3.64 crore, Satranjipura Rs 4.10 crore, Lakadganj Rs 9.64 crore, Aasi Nagar Rs 8.02 crore, and Mangalwari Zone Rs 9.73 crore. The total amounts to Rs 75.18 crore.

Thakre has given 2-month deadline for employees to recover the tax and also directed to revaluate the property tax in the present market rates. If the employees and officials of Property Tax Department honestly scan their records the recovery might reach a massive figure of Rs 200 crore. Similarly, if the department recovers the tax at present rates from the property owners who were levied the less amount of tax earlier, the department is likely to recover an additional property tax of Rs 50 crore. The NMC has no specific statistics of over 40 per cent properties. Here also, if the department recovers the tax with specific statistics the figure might cross the Rs 100 crore mark.

However, the new Standing Committee Chairman Avinash Thakre would face the challenge of making the Property Tax Department an efficient one and also see the target of recovering the property tax is achieved.