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KMC forms panel to overhaul property tax payment module

Kolkata: The Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) has constituted a Scheme Review Committee for a complete overhaul of Unit Area Assessment (UAA) system of paying property tax.

The move comes in the wake of slow response from the citizens of the city in paying of taxes through the Unit Area Assessment format.

The number of such tax payers according to records of the Kolkata Municipal Corporation Assessment department is 8,06374 out of which 1,18326 persons have registered themselves under the UAA which is only about 15 per cent.

The 13 member committee that has Deputy Mayor Atin Ghosh as chairman comprises of noted economist and CA personnel which will work towards bringing more and more citizens under the aegis of UAA through several measures.

"We have already taken suo motu measures to bring tax payers under UAA by organising awareness camps in wards and apartments in the city on a regular basis.," said the Deputy Mayor.

Speaking on pending property taxes, the Deputy Mayor Atin Ghosh, who holds the charge of KMC's Assessment department said: "We have a list of 50 apartments with a reasonable amount of property tax pending and are

organising camps there with the residents for mopping up the property tax."

The Deputy Mayor's response came in the wake of a query from the Left Front councillor Debasish Mukherjee on property tax at the monthly meeting of the Kolkata Municipal Corporation on Saturday.

As per records of the Assessment department the amount of pending property tax till November 30 this year, is Rs 5126 crore out of which Rs 2752 accounts for interest or fine levied for delay or default in payment. One third of the property tax cannot be collected due to disputes or legal complications. The department has set a target of collecting tax to the tune of Rs 1012 crore by the end of the ongoing financial year and has managed to mop up nearly Rs 690 crore till date.

Congress councilor Prakash Upadhyay proposed to the Kolkata Municipal Corporation to take strong measures against property tax defaulters and claimed that some mega cities in the country have much less amount of tax pending due to their strong stand against defaulters.

Ghosh said that the KMC has already sealed some offices located in Central Kolkata for non-payment of taxes and following which some of them have come forward and already coughed up taxes.

He further pointed out that there are some NRIs who have taken up apartments in housing complexes in the city but have not been paying taxes for a long time.

"We are planning to attach such properties as per legal provisions," Ghosh said.

He maintained that he had visited cities like Delhi, Bengaluru , Chennai and had learnt that the civic bodies charge taxes for water and sewerage. "So the tax pattern in Kolkata will not be the same as in other metros," he added.

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