Owning a building in the state capital just got more expensive.
The Patna Municipal Corporation (PMC) board on Monday approved the proposal to double the rate of holding tax in the city, after a gap of 17 years. The civic body would also work on including more houses under the ambit of holding tax.
“The standing committee of the PMC had approved a revision in holding tax rates in its October 7 meeting. The national average for property tax is Rs 486 per person per year, while the same for Patna is Rs 126. The holding tax rates for the PMC area have not been revised after 1995. Thus, the need for revision was felt. Hence, the PMC board today (Monday) approved a two-fold increase in holding tax rates,” said PMC commissioner Pankaj Kumar Pal.
Sources said the annual rental value for different categories of houses on three categories of streets — principal main road, main road and other roads — in the city has been raised two-fold from their existing value.
For instance, the existing annual rental value for a fully commercial house with reinforced concrete cement-made roof on a principal main road (a road that has municipal water supply pipeline) is Rs 54 per sqft.
The annual rental value for such a house would now be Rs 108 per sqft. Sources added that the PMC would now send the report to the urban development department for final approval before the new holding tax rates come into effect.
The civic commissioner added: “We are also going to hike the total coverage area of holding tax in the city. There are still a large numbers of holdings, which are left out of the tax ambit. To conduct a fresh survey and undertake other necessary procedures, we have requested the state government to give us more deputy collectors.”
The PMC commissioner said the annual target for collection of holding tax for the last two years was Rs 33 crore but the PMC was able to collect Rs 17 crore in 2010-11 and Rs 28 crore in 2011-12.
Few ward councillors, however, claimed that the proposal to hike the holding tax rates was passed ignoring their demands.
“Many ward councillors wanted a detailed discussion on the holding tax hike proposal, as they could not understand several technical issues. However, the mayor ignored the request and the proposal was passed,” said Dipak Chaurasia, the councillor of ward number 2.
The PMC board also sanctioned funds worth Rs 44 lakh for cleaning 75 ghats in the state capital for Chhath next month.
A number of ward councillors also levelled allegations regarding anomalies in previous PMC board meetings.
“On several occasions, names of ward councillors, who were not present in the meetings, were mentioned. No discussion was held on many topics mentioned in the proceedings. The mayor is practising dictatorship and passing whatever proposal he wants,” said former PMC deputy mayor Vinay Kumar.