KOLHAPUR: Various city-based organizations have alleged that the Kolhapur Municipal Corporation (KMC) is charging property tax that is 20% more than the actual amount by calculating the tax on built-up area instead of carpet area of properties.
The organizations claimed that it is illegal and against the norms proposed by the state government. However, the KMC has refuted the allegations and shown readiness to discuss the issue with higher authorities.
Members of organisations such as Common Man Association, Prajasattak Samaj Seva Sanstha and Kolhapur Engineering Association met property tax department officials on Tuesday. They demanded that the tax be recalculated and the bills be issued again to property holders.
Common Man Association president Baba Indulkar said, "The capital-based valuation of property tax was started in 2011. According to the guidelines laid down by the state government, the tax should be levied on the carpet area and the locality of the property. However, since the past two years, the civic administration has been calculating property tax based on the built-up area, which is against the rules. The KMC has also imposed 20% extra financial burden on taxpayers through the tax."
Property tax, which is a major source of revenue for the KMC, is charged on residential, commercial plots and other types of properties. The capital-based valuation of property tax was introduced to increase the revenue of the KMC, which according to the civic administration has tripled since the new system was started.
Refuting the organizations' claims, KMC chief property tax superintendent Dilip Koli said, "Before 2011, we used to not consider the area, size and the location of the property. However, in the capital-based valuation of property tax, all aspects have been taken into consideration. No injustice has been done to property holders and no extra tax has been charged."
Activists also demanded that industrial areas in the Kolhapur should have different tax structure. Presently, the KMC is charging the industries in Udyam Nagar are charged with commercial rates instead of industrial rates, activists claimed.
Indulkar said the changes in property tax structures had been sent to state government for approval. Though the urban development department had not yet approved the same, the KMC was still implementing changes such as collection of tax based on built-up area.
The civic administration has assured members of the organizations to call a meet with higher authorities in next two to three days.