HYDERABAD: With just two months left for the completion of the current financial year (2011-12), collection of property tax is going to be the top priority for the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC).
Its main target will be top habitual defaulters who have been evading tax for years. As per records, the GHMC has identified as many as 1,000 defaulters who altogether owe more than `255 crore.
“Without enhancing tax rates, property tax collection can go up substantially by bringing all the un-assessed properties into the tax net and by unearthing under-assessment and change of land use by property owners and through recovery of property tax from the defaulting property owners,” GHMC Mayor M Majid Hussain told City Express.
“As on December, 2011, the total arrears of property tax from the top 1,000 defaulters come to `255 crore-`260 crore. Similarly, the property tax from State government properties and State and Central sector undertakings can go up substantially through proper assessment and collection. GHMC will ask the State government for allocation of budget provision in the State budget in respect to the state government properties,” he said.
The top defaulters include private firms, individuals, government departments and public sector undertakings, schools, colleges and places of worship. As per GHMC records, among the top 10 property tax defaulters are Hyderabad Asbestos Cement (`14 crore), IDPL (`six crore), Ms Lake Plaza Hotels Ltd and others (`two crore), Water Reservoir Marredpally (`two crore), HMT Machines Tools Ltd (`1.5 crore), Balayogi Paryatak Bhavan of APTDC (`1.5 crore), Ms Annapurna Enterprises (`1.4 crore), IDPL Colony (`75 lakh), Hyderabad Bottling Company (`50 lakh) and Hyderabad Allwyn Watches Ltd (`65 lakh).
The revenue generated from property tax collection would help the GHMC in taking up new development activities, maintenance works pertaining to sanitation, main and minor roads and pavements, street lighting, flyovers and traffic signals among others.
The GHMC had wanted the defaulters to pay arrears of the last three years within a month and warned of legal action if they failed to do so.
The mayor also asked the people who could not pay their current year’s property tax, to pay at the earliest, so that they can streamline their accounts with only 2 per cent interest.