NEW DELHI: The South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) has found a new way to put residents in the right tax bracket and raise its revenues. It collected data on how many people use commercial electricity meters and sent notices to them all saying they can’t be paying House Tax as per ‘purely residential occupation of property’ but have to pay as ‘commercial usage’ instead.
Some people running salons, gyms, clubs, coaching centres, shops, dhabas, small factories, etc. from their premises and using commercial meters due to electricity overload, were found to be hoodwinking the SDMC by paying ‘residential House Tax’ only.
Senior officers told this newspaper that since December, they have sent out 2.7 lakh notices and have already received 12 crore in revised taxes from such persons in all the four zones of SDMC. The procedure is still on and SDMC hopes to make a neat income out of it.
“We collected this (electricity meter data) about six months back. We segregated it zone wise and asked all the officers concerned to inquire into them and start sending notices by speed post and even hand. It’s been just 20-23 days and we have already collected 12 crore. We have also added 7,000 new taxpayers,” Rahul Garg, additional commissioner, revenue, South MCD, said.
The corporation mopped up 697 crore from House Tax in financial year 2018-’19. It increased its House Tax collection by a whopping 48 crore since 2017-18. It has been employing various methods to raise more revenue like handing out UPIC (Unique Property Identification Cards) and digitizing property records so that they cannot be fudged.
“All residential welfare associations (RWAs) are being contacted to obtain details of new tenancies as well as occupants to enable the department to bring them into the tax net. Completion certificate details from the Building Department of SDMC are being obtained to bring new properties under the tax net. Details regarding sale-purchase of properties and rent agreements executed are also being procured from registrar offices,” an officer said.
“A survey of farmhouses to identify new properties and existing taxpayers, who are not depositing their property tax, is underway,” another officer said.