HYDERABAD: Even as the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation has recorded an increase of Rs 115 crore in property tax collection for the just-ended financial year (2017-18), there was a drastic fall in the number of assessees who paid the tax till Saturday.
As many as 67,598 property owners in Greater Hyderabad who had paid the tax for 2016-17 did not pay it for 2017-18. In 2016-17, as many as 12,85,933 property owners paid the tax and around Rs 1,205 crore was collected from them. In 2017-18, though Rs 1,320 crore was collected, fewer people paid the tax with their number standing at 12,18,335.
The drop in the number of tax-payers exposes the corporation’s poor functioning as far as making all assessees pay the tax. Had those owners too paid the tax, the civic body could have netted a revenue of Rs 200 crore to Rs 300 crore more. Though a large number of owners skipped paying the tax, the GHMC managed to increase the property tax revenue by about Rs 114.50 crore. Usually, ULBs make efforts to see that owners pay their property tax regularly and bring new owners into the tax net but this has not happened in the case of GHMC.
However, a notable feature is that many owners opted for online payment to avoid harassments from bill collectors and bill inspectors. In 2016-17, about 2,01,305 owners paid the tax online (Rs 109.75 crore) and in 2017-18 about 3,08,339 paid a total tax amount of Rs 199.43 crore online.
Of the total Rs 1,320 crore tax collected, about Rs 394 crore was on residential properties, Rs 867 crore on non-residential properties and Rs 58.40 crore on mixed-category properties. The corporation also collected tax on properties which are under the Building Regularisation Scheme. Of 1.21 lakh applications, 76,324 have been scrutinised & property tax has been enhanced on 28,859 properties, amounting to Rs 35.24 crore.