Property tax bills have started being despatched to residents from Wednesday. The bills are being sent for two years — 2010-11 and 2011-12.
The rates are being calculated on the basis of the old valuation of 1978. The civic body is following the interim order passed by the high court in this respect. The order, dated September 30, 2008, stated that the civic body could collect property tax on a new rate based on the old valuation. Justice Kalyan Jyoti Sengupta passed the order. The new rate was described as an increase of up to 30 per cent over the old valuation.
Buildings in Salt Lake were valued afresh in the 1990s but Bidhannagar (Salt Lake) Welfare Association objected to this and took the matter to court. In 2006, the Supreme Court stated that the new valuation procedure was arbitrary and unscientific.
After 2006, the civic body did not force residents to pay tax. So from 2007 to 2010, under the tenure of former civic chief Biswajiban Majumdar, many residents either did not pay at all or paid only part of the sum. They will now receive bills for those three years as well.
Once the new board came into power in 2010 the civic body got busy trying to reach a valuation agreeable to Bidhannagar (Salt Lake) Welfare Association and the state government. This took time and the bills are finally being sent out now. No interest is being charged on the late payments as the delay was on the part of the civic body.
The civic body usually collects around Rs 9 crore annually in property taxes. So the expected collection would be Rs 18 crore, plus Rs 6 crore due from the 2007-2010 bills, said Ashesh Mukherjee, chairman-in-council of Bidhannagar Municipality.