HYDERABAD: Nearly 1.90 lakh owners have not been paying property tax for over five years. These property owners together owe over Rs 461 crore, including arrears and interest on it, to the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC). Similarly, over three lakh owners of 13.5 lakh properties assessed have not been remitting taxes for over three years.
In the face of criticism that the GHMC is going after only those who pay regularly, the corporation has decided to serve red notices on those who have defaulted on taxes for over three years.
Incidentally, the highest number of defaulters is from Circle 4 (Charminar) areas like Old Malakpet, Saidabad, Chandrayangutta, Uppuguda, Rein Bazar and Barkas and 23,630 from Circle 5 areas like Charminar, Puranapul, Shah Ali Banda, Begum Bazar, Falaknuma and Hussaini Alam. Another 21,426 tax defaulters are from Circle VII (Khairatabad) areas. like Mangalhat, Tolichowki, Asifnagar, Mehdipatnam and Chintalbasthi.
Over 13,000 defaulters are in L B Nagar, Malkajgiri, Kukatpally and Circle 10 (Khairatabad).
The habitual defaulters are less in circles like Uppal, Serilingampally, Alwal and Abids.
“Since the first half of the financial year ended on September 30, red notices are being issued against habitual defaulters who have not been paying tax for the past three years and above. General reminder notices will be served on owners who have to pay tax only for the current year,” GHMC additional commissioner (finance) K Ashok Reddy told TOI.
Officials said despite default by 4.92 lakh people, the corporation collected Rs 779 crore last year (2012-13). Of these defaulters, 76,802 were from Circle 4 alone, while 46,702 were in Circle 7 and 44,588 in Circle 5.
In the current financial year, of 13.5 lakh, 6.50 lakh property owners have paid tax dues amounting to Rs 361 crore till October 1 – Rs 50 crore more than the collections for this time of the year. The corporation had collected Rs 309 crore by October 1 in 2012. The GHMC aims to collect Rs 1,000 crore this financial year.
The GHMC tax wing officials have been asked to serve notices on defaulters by preparing lists of top 100 and 500 defaulters in each circle. Since some of the top defaulters have filed cases which have neither been stayed nor an order made towards collecting dues, deputy municipal commissioners have been instructed to report two cases in which the highest amount is involved in their respective circles. If there is a problem in collecting tax amount, it would be dealt by the head office by engaging special advocates to tackle those cases.