PUNE: After the success of its drive to recover dues from defaulters of property tax, the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has decided to make the ground level civic staff accountable for failing to identify properties that have not been assessed for tax.
The property tax department of PMC first launched a drive to recover pending dues by playing music band outside the property of defaulters and managed to collect Rs 74 crore. Now, it has set its eye on identifying unassessed properties and bring them in the tax ambit. In its 40-day survey, the civic administration identified 26,000 properties that were found out of the ambit of property tax. “The drive to recover dues from defaulters would continue, but focus would also be on bringing unassessed properties in the tax net. The civic staff at the ground level responsible for assessing property tax would be made accountable if any unassessed properties are found in their jurisdiction,” said Municipal Commissioner Mahesh Pathak. The PMC has not proposed any hike in the property tax but estimated an increase in revenue collection by bringing unassessed properties in tax net, he said adding, “The property tax department would take in writing from the civic staff that there are no more unassessed properties in their area.” This means that the staff might face action if any unassessed properties are found in their area, he said. The PMC administration has set a revenue target of Rs 750 crore, including water tax, from property tax in 2014-15 as against Rs 742 crore for 2013-14. It has collected Rs 670 crore in the first nine months of the current fiscal and is set to cross its set target by March-end. There are 7.5 lakh properties in the city and the civic administration expects more would be added to the list if the civic staff at the ground level are made more accountable.