By Accommodation Times News Service
The Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) has finally given in to the rising public ire over hiked property tax bills and decided to offer a huge ‘monsoon’ discount in their bills.
The standing committee announced on July 17 that owners of properties — residential and commercial — who have received hiked bills will be given a 50% rebate over the hike. More than 8lakh property owners in the city had received hiked bills because of the inclusion of the revised 2011 Jantri rates in tax calculations. The AMC assured those who have already paid their bills that the rebate will be credited to the bills issued in the forthcoming financial year.
“Those owners who have been issued bills and are yet to pay, will receive a new set of bills in the coming few months,” said a senior AMC official. Till March 31, the property tax department maintained records of a total of 17.89lakh properties in the city. The recent hike in property taxes had affected 47% of these units, which were 8.44lakh households and commercial units. Interestingly, there were 62,000 properties which had reported reduced tax bills. There were 8.91lakh properties which had reported no hike.
Tax officials claim that the AMC was to add Rs 96.92crore to its kitty with new property tax hike, which has now being halved. “We have forgone Rs 63crore in revenue after we offered a 50% slash in rates over the increase in property tax. The reduced tax structure will prevail in the following budget years till the municipal commissioner does not propose a new tax structure,” says standing committee chairman Bhupendra Patel. He further added that the requirement of section 8B of the Gujarat provincial municipal corporation Act (GPMC) — that of a hike in taxes once every four years — has also been fulfilled with the 50% rebate.
Patel also informed that in the case of more than 4lakh properties, the factor ‘F 4? in the property tax formula has been reduced from factor ’2? to factor ’1?. This will nearly halve their bills. Also those property owners who have filed their advance tax will be offered a 10% rebate on the existing property tax bills. Public charitable trusts have been extended a 40% tax rebate, informed Patel.