THANE: The Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC) has restarted its earlier scheme of giving concessions to residents who pay property taxes in advance. Under the scheme, residents who paid the entire year's property tax in May were given a concession of 5%. Similarly, the TMC will give 4% concession to those who pay the entire year's tax by June, 3% by July and 2% in August.
For the fiscal 2014-15, the TMC has set a target of over Rs 280 crore for property tax. In 2013-14, the TMC collected property tax of Rs 245 crore.
Senior property tax officials said that the scheme will benefit the residents as well as the civic body, which will garner enough revenue to pay for ongoing development works.
The scheme of giving concessions to residents for paying property tax in advance was stopped in the financial year 2012-13 as the TMC had started issuing six monthly property tax bills to residents. The scheme (of giving concession) was launched in the financial year 2011-12.
Social activists such as Chandrahas Tawde have been asking the TMC to restart the scheme.
"Residents know the property tax to be paid during the budget session itself. If there is no hike in the tax rate, the tax amount remains fixed. So, residents would pay the tax in April itself as the concession of 5% offered by the TMC gives them an opportunity to save some money," said a social activist.
The civic body, incidentally, would collect up to 90% of the total estimated property tax within the first three months of the financial year.
After the scheme was stopped, unpaid tax bills piled on, resulting in the TMC having to send constant reminders.
At the same time, the civic body is also gearing up its machinery to recover unpaid property tax dues from closed mill owners or management, collapsed buildings and merged villages.
"The money from people who have defaulted on payment of taxes from these sectors must be over Rs 100 crore," said a civic official.
For instance, over two decades ago, several villages such as Kausa, Mumbra, Diva and Shil Phata were merged with the TMC, but till date the villagers refuse to pay tax to the civic body. Similarly, over one-and-half dozen mills that have closed down in the past have not paid dues to the TMC.