Property tax on residential properties is set to go up from the 2012-13 financial year. Though the hike is being proposed in the form of revision of property tax, which will be taken up next month, citizens are crying foul over the move as Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation seems to not pay enough attention to the poor civic services.
If the property tax on residential properties is hiked, over 11 lakh property owners would have to cough up more money. As of now, there are 12.5 lakh assessments in the Greater Hyderabad. Of them, 1.40 lakh are commercial properties and the rest residential.
As of now, the GHMC has been collecting a minimum of 50 to 60 paise per square feet (sft) for residential buildings and a maximum of Rs 1.25 per sft. For residential properties in slums, only 40 paise was being collected from property owners. On the other hand, commercial buildings are billed between Rs five and Rs 20 per sft depending upon the area.
GHMC sources said property tax rates would be revised based on locality, building type, usage and rental value. Revision of property tax has to be done every five years as per the GHMC Act and the last revision was done in 2007. As the government had not permitted property tax hike in 2007 in view of municipal elections, the GHMC had enhanced property tax on commercial buildings only after the local elections.
“While there was no revision of property tax on residential properties in the erstwhile Municipal Corporation of Hyderabad area since 2000, the tax rates have not been revised in the erstwhile surrounding municipalities since 2002. Property tax rates for residential properties in surrounding circles are less compared to the core area,” a senior official of the GHMC told TOI.
The 13th Finance Commission has reportedly pulled up the state government for putting a cap on the enhancement of property tax and controlling civic bodies. As per the municipal laws and a GO issued in 2006, commissioners of respective municipalities and corporations are empowered to revise property tax in their jurisdiction. Stung by the Finance Commission’s strictures, the state government lifted the cap on enhancement of property tax on commercial properties.
“The corporation has already intimated about revision of property tax to the municipal administration and urban development (MA&UD) department. The revision process will take three to four months,” GHMC commissioner MT Krishna Babu told TOI.
However, GHMC officials might have to face the music from citizens and corporators during the property tax revision exercise.
Source: The Times of India, Hyderabad