HYDERABAD:The Standing Committee of Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation has proposed to waive property tax for all those paying up to Rs 4,000 a year, city mayor M Majid Hussain has said.
The decision comes ahead of the elections to the GHMC scheduled next year.
The Standing Committee, which met here on Thursday under the chairmanship of Majid Hussain, asked corporation officials to submit details so that the issue could be taken up by the next general body. The term of the present elected body will expire in about three weeks’ time. Thus, the decision seems to have been taken with a political motive.
However, GHMC officials said it would not be possible to waive off property tax up to Rs 4,000 as it required an amendment to the Act. GHMC has no powers to waive property tax on its own and the government has to approve the council’s decision in this regard. The council will adopt a resolution approving the standing committee’s decision and will be sent to the government for approval.
The mayor wanted officials to collect the data of property tax dues of previous years. It was not clear whether the waiver would be applicable with retrospective effect or applicable to the dues of the current year. As it is an election year, the ruling MIM took this decision to woo voters.
The decision, if implemented, would benefit around 10 lakh assessees and burden the GHMC to the extent of around Rs 125 crore. The mayor claimed that the decision was taken to benefit the poor.
Official sources pointed out that the efforts to collect Rs 4,000 crore to make Hyderabad a global city would be affected if tax was waived.
“No one will pay property tax once the decision appeared in the media. The owner of a flat measuring 1,250 sft is paying property tax ranging between Rs 2,500 and Rs 3,000 a year in the city. It means that nearly half of the house-owners will not pay property tax,” the officials pointed out.