April is the month when many diligent, especially senior citizens wait in long queues at Mysuru City Corporation (MCC) Office to pay their annual tax mainly to gain 5% rebate.
In the past few days, there have seen several letters to the editor requesting online payment. While endorsing their views, I would like to add a few more suggestions:
- Authorities of both the MCC and State Government must make the Completion Report (CR) and the Urban Property Ownership Record (UPOR) mandatory. While the CR certifies the built-up area of the house, the UPOR defines the total area of the plot.
- These two data are the only data required for calculating the city tax and both are already available in the CR and UPOR.
- While CESC, BSNL, etc., have made their monthly payment online, there is no reason why MCC cannot implement such a system for collecting tax. I am sure a medium sized software company would be able to develop such a system.
- Once such a system is made available, all of us can open the site on our own laptop and enter the UPOR unique number. Hurrah, the entire tax calculations and the total tax due should appear on the screen. Payment could then be made on net banking facility.
- Those who do not have such computer access could still walk into their Zonal Office where there should be 3 or 4 officials with laptops with a single printer. All that the citizen has to do is to give his (or her) UPOR number and within a few seconds his tax due is printed. He could then pay the amount by cash or by cheque right there.
I strongly believe that by following the above suggestions, tax collection will improve dramatically.
In addition, by looking at the Self-Assessment form, I notice that there is tax only on land occupied by the building and no tax on vacant land. In other words, if a person owns a plot of 10,000 sq.ft. and has a building of only 100 sq.ft. as per the present rules, he pays tax only on 100 sq.ft. Since the land value keeps rising, this loophole in the rules encourages real-estate dealers. If this lacuna is rectified, tax collection will increase several folds.
Secondly, in the forms filled by the touts sitting outside the Zonal Office, I notice that there is absolutely no comparison between the real market value and the value he enters.
If the market value is predetermined by valid economic data and incorporated in the system itself, the tax collection will increase manifolds.
Do I believe that the authorities concerned do not know of these improvements? They certainly do but if they implemented them, unfortunately corruption would disappear from many Government Offices !
– U.B. Acharya, Jayalakshmipuram, 12.4.2019
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