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Since 1st March, 1999
 
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Civic tax onus on property owners

Property owners would have to assess their assets themselves and pay the corresponding taxes online from the next fiscal year.

The urban development department plans to introduce the system by April 1 to improve the municipal tax coverage in the state and stop tax evasion. Around 15 per cent households across 139 urban local bodies in the state pay municipal tax right now.

The department is developing a website for the purpose. Once ready, residents would be able to feed their property details on the site, assess their assets on their own and pay the taxes at empanelled banks from the 2013-14 fiscal year.

Highlighting the features of the self-assessment process, urban development secretary S. Siddharth told The Telegraph: “Only 15 per cent of the total assets across the state is under the ambit of municipal taxes. This is one of the biggest reasons behind the poor financial condition of the urban local bodies, prompting poor civic services. There is also a crunch of deputy collectors to register property for evaluating and collecting municipal taxes. So we decided to come up with a system where people can make self-assessment of their assets feeding details on a website and make corresponding payments in banks.”

The department has signed memoranda of understanding with State Bank of India and Punjab National Bank for collecting the municipal taxes across the state.

Once a property owner feeds the details, including personal information, category and size of property, on the website and taxes on garbage and holding calculated, a chalan would be issued to the proprietor.

The document can be taken to any of the empanelled banks for paying the tax.

Urban development officials are also on the lookout for agencies whose officials would go door-to-door to assist the residents in feeding details on the website.

“Tenders for the selection of the agencies would be floated in a week. Their representatives would go door-to-door in each ward of urban local bodies and identify households that are not registered. They would also help the residents in assessing and registering their assets,” added Siddharth.