The Telegraph
Thursday , August 7 , 2014
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Capital homes under double tax scanner

Ranchi residents who own a home but do not pay holding tax be prepared to face the music.

The RMC, in its bid to beef up its own financial resources, has begun tallying the total number of house-owners in the capital city with the list of taxpayers. And those who are on the wrong side of the law may have to pay through the nose if they do not enlist at the earliest.

This is not all, the civic body is planning to launch a water connection survey and tally the numbers with the list of residents who routinely pay taxes for the lifeline.

Last week, civic mandarins were stunned by a report presented by Geoinfosys Technologies, a Delhi-based agency counting houses for allotment of unique numbers at the RMC’s behest.

Officials in the town planning division said the agency was provided with a list of approximately 90,000 houses across all the 55 wards that had holding numbers on the basis of property tax paid by them. It was asked to tally the same and enlist new houses and provide photo-evidence of the same.

“Survey began nearly two months ago and last week, we were provided with a list of over 1.20 lakh houses in just 17 wards, which effectively means that around 30,000 property owners are not paying their taxes,” pointed out an official.

The RMC had estimated the number of defaulters to be around 50,000, but with 30,000 in just 17 wards, the final figure of tax rogues could just be double.

Explaining the rationale behind the water tap tally, another RMC official said: “If the number of houses is more than what we had estimated, chances are high that the number of connections are also much more, which means we are losing out heavily in terms of revenue.”

Public relations officer of RMC Naresh Kumar Sinha said the need to separately tally and verify tap supply arose from the fact that water connections were not necessarily given on the basis of house-holding numbers.

“For instance, if two brothers are living separately under one roof, they may be provided with two connections through one holding number for which they need to provide one affidavit. In such a scenario, manual verification is important,” underscored Sinha.

Deputy CEO of RMC Om Prakash Shah said they were studying the survey report presented by Geoinfosys.

“At present, one thing is clear: all houses are not paying holding tax. We have to think about how to make citizens comply with civic rules. Very soon we will come up with notices requesting people to clear holding taxes and also become legal piped water subscribers. Then we will disclose what stringent actions will be taken against defaulters,” he added.

Do you know of any case of property tax violation?


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