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Indian Real Estate News : Kolkata
KMC ready with replies to property tax waiver bill queries
Source: The Times of India, Kolkata Nov 07, 2011
The civic body, KMC, is ready with replies to the queries put forward by Governor M K Narayanan when he was asked to sign the property tax waiver bill. The report, which has been sent to the state municipal affairs department by the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) authorities, will be forwarded to the governor this week.

A whopping Rs 2,600 crore is pending with around 3.6 lakh property tax-payers. Before going for the new Unit Area Assessment (UAA) method, the civic body needs to clear this huge backlog. The waiver scheme will help the civic body mop up this pending revenue, the civic top brass has argued.

Besides, the KMC immediately needs funds to sustain development projects in the city and continue with essential civic services. According to a KMC official, the civic top brass has a target of collecting Rs 300 crore from the waiver scheme. The KMC authorities are confident that under such circumstances, they will get the governor’s approval.

"The amount is badly needed to fund development projects, including riverfront beautification, and to foot the pending bills of contractors who kept essential services running over the past couple of months even during the funds crunch," said a KMC official.

After the tax waiver bill was passed in the state assembly, it was sent to the governor for his consent. However, Narayanan sent it back, asking for certain clarifications. Firstly, he wondered how such waiver, granted to major and habitual defaulters, could be justified. He was also curious to know about the civic body's roadmap for revenue augmentation other than offering waiver to tax defaulters.

Municipal affairs secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay had sent these queries to municipal commissioner Arnab Roy, asking him to reply to the queries.

Sources in the KMC assessment department admitted that revenue collection had dropped sharply after the announcement of the waiver scheme three months ago. "Many tax-payers stopped paying property tax after the civic authorities expressed the willingness to reintroduce the waiver for the third time. We have already fallen behind our target revenue collection. If this trend continues, it will be an uphill task to reach the target by the yearend," said a KMC assessment department official.
Tag: kmc, kolkata real estate, property tax
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