Property tax: Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation extends interest rebate scheme till March, 2010

The interest rebate scheme on property tax dues has been extended till the end of the current financial year following an urgent resolution, which the civic standing committee passed in its previous meeting. The scheme introduced in mid-November last year had come to an end on January 13. The decision was taken in the committee meeting chaired by Krushnavadan Brahmbhatt (Koko) in the absence of chairman Asit Vora, who is currently in the US.

The municipal corporation waives 100 per cent penal interest on property tax (in case of chawls and slums) and 50 per cent (in case of other properties) dues under old and new tax formula. The concession is allowed only when the tax due under the new formula is more than the old system.

The rebate scheme is offered every year mainly to circumvent the situation arising out of indifference of the state government towards long pending plea of the AMC to reduce penal interest from 18 per cent to eight per cent. This was a major electoral promise the ruling BJP had made during the 2005 civic elections.

As a way out, the AMC has come up with the idea of rebate but this routine of many years has encouraged defaulters, who instead of paying up, wait for rebate announcement. Those who pay irrespective of the offer out of a sense of responsibility, feel paying for their punctuality. This is one reason that tax recovery in “normal days” reduces to trickle, and this gives AMC officials and elected wing to pat own back for record collections during rebate period. In the last three months of rebate period, against the rebate amount of Rs 8 crore, the civic body has collected Rs 90 crore towards tax bills: almost Rs 1 crore a day, officials say.

Source: Indian Express