SAMBALPUR: Sambalpur Municipal Corporation (SMC) has launched a drive to expedite collection of holding tax. The revenue target of the civic body for the year 2019-20 is Rs 15 crore of which holding tax accounts for Rs 7.5 crore.
While SMC has collected holding tax worth around Rs 3 crore till now, the total revenue collection stands at Rs 6 crore.
However, to speed up the tax collection process, SMC has initiated a slew of measures. The thrust of the civic body in the drive is to reassess properties and collect arrears. Enforcement Officer of SMC Subhankar Mohanty said, “There are a number of holdings which were earlier assessed as residential property but are being used for commercial purposes now.
"We are identifying such properties to reassess them and enforce the revised tax on the owners. Besides, several housing complexes and apartments which have already been possessed by people are yet to be brought under the ambit of SMC. Such properties are being newly assessed from this year to start collection of holding tax from them.”
While announcements on loudspeakers are being done across the city for awareness of the residents, several camps have been set up at ward level to collect the arrears.
The staff deployed at each camp are notifying the residents of the respective areas to clear the dues on time.
If requested by taxpayers, the civic body is also sending staff for collecting tax at their doorsteps. Moreover, POS machines are being used to promote digital payment and ease of transaction.
Mohanty said the civic body has covered around 50 per cent of the holding tax by now, but the tax collection usually speeds up by the end of fiscal year.
“We are hoping to collect the maximum arrears by February end and start of March,” he said. However, there are a number of Nazul plots which are yet to be brought under the ambit of SMC’s assessment. Besides, several commercial property holders do not convert their property for commercial use voluntarily which has been proving an impediment to higher tax collection. Apart from this, the civic body is also streamlining collection of revenue from other sources like trade licence, market licence, user fee from parks, kalyan mandaps, ropeways and parking fees to ensure higher collection.