- Last year’s property tax target: Rs. 160 crore
- Property tax collected: Rs. 96.21 crore
- Amount outstanding: Rs. 63.79 crore
Water bills worth Rs. 120 crore pending from houses, commercial complexes; Government Departments owe Rs. 30 crore
Mysore/Mysuru: Get ready to pay more water tariff and property tax as the Mysuru City Corporation (MCC) is all set to effect a hike from the next financial year.
Property tax was last hiked by 15 percent in 2017 and as per the Karnataka Municipal Council Act 1976 (Column 109 A), there is a provision for Municipalities and Corporations to hike property tax once in three years and the hike can be at the range of 15 percent to 30 percent.
The hike automatically kicks in under Self-Assessment System (SAS) of taxation but requires the consent of the Standing Committee on Taxation, Finance and Appeals and the approval of the Corporation Council.
This time, the MCC has plans to hike the water tariff too as according to officials, the water tariffs levied by the MCC is very low when compared to other Corporations and Municipal Councils. Also, MCC is spending crores of rupees to lay drinking water pipelines and maintain them.
There are 1,83,000 properties in city and in the last financial year, though a property tax target of Rs. 160 crore was set, the MCC was able to collect only Rs. 96.21 crore with an outstanding amount of Rs. 63.79 crore. Property Tax is the major revenue source for the MCC.
MCC Deputy Commissioner (Revenue) Kumar Naik told Star of Mysore that the property tax and the water tariffs will be increased as a routine exercise. “As per the guidelines, we have to increase the property tax once in three years. The Council members will decide on the quantum of increase,” he said.
MCC Commissioner Gurudatta Hegde said that it has become inevitable to hike the water tariff to take care of maintenance and other expenditure. At present, the MCC is charging a minimum of Rs. 150 for 25,000 litres of water which include UGD cess, which some City Councils were charging a minimum of Rs. 260 for the same amount of water.
Stating that though the MCC is supplying drinking water at the lowest rate, the MCC Commissioner said that a few have not paid water bills from eight to ten years and added that the MCC is yet to receive about more than Rs. 30 crore water bills from the Government Departments.
He said that a few houses and commercial establishments owe about Rs. 120 crore water bills and added that out of about 1.5 lakh consumers, only 70 percent pay water bills regularly. Also, the city has more than 25,000 illegal water connections.
Online property tax
The MCC has issued work orders for the roll out of online payment of property tax with effect from April 1 this year. Kumar Naik said that digitisation of records in the property register is on and the data is being fed into the systems while software is being developed for the online calculation of tax. “We are working hard to ensure that the system is in place from April 1 as it marks the beginning of the new financial year,’’ he said.
Online property tax payment will be implemented across all nine zones covering 65 wards. Digitising property records of all properties spread across the city is under progress and over 50 data entry operators and 40 revenue inspectors are digitising property records, Kumar Naik added.