PUNE: Civic body-appointed brass bands will need to play louder next fiscal. The Pune Municipal Corporation has not been able to recover Rs 403 crore pending property tax despite its many efforts. At the general body meeting, the administration in a written reply to the elected members stated that property tax worth Rs 403 crore has to be recovered from the defaulters in 2014-15.
Although the civic body is Rs 100 crore short of its target for the current fiscal, the Rs 403 crore is the cumulative amount that has piled up over the last few years.
There are around 3,810 defaulters who owe property tax over Rs 1 lakh each. The PMC officials said the figure was high not only because of defaulters but also due to technical issues and errors in the tax levy and payments.
"Some properties have been taxed twice. The duplication of record is leading to inflated figures of pending property tax dues. Some tax payments are pending since last three to four years," said a senior official.
The official said the civic body continued imposing property tax on vacant plots even after the property had been developed. Tax was also imposed on constructed structures, on the land after demolition of old wadas and on properties that were redeveloped. This has resulted in double taxation.
This financial year, however, the civic body has managed to recover a sizeable chunk of the property tax. PMC's target was to recover Rs 750 crore in property tax by the end of this fiscal, of which it has collected Rs 650 crore so far.
Based on an assessment by the PMC, owners of around 7.5 lakh properties in the city, including open plots, commercial and residential properties, are liable to pay the tax. Of these, around six lakh property owners have paid up.
The PMC had in March last year roped in brass bands to recover dues from defaulters. Launched on an experimental basis, the initiative was resumed in September and the department recovered Rs 8 crore in unpaid dues in just the first week.
Property tax is one of the main sources of revenue for the municipal corporation. The property tax department handles the billing and collection of tax on residential, commercial, plots and other types of properties - held privately or by government (state and central) - within the PMC limits.