Nagpur Municipal Corporation Commissioner, Tukaram Mundhe, has decided to restructure Tax and Tax Assessment Department of Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) and also to rationalise property tax. The decision has been taken to streamline and bring transparency in assessment of property tax as it is the main source of revenue for NMC.
Considering the area under jurisdiction of NMC, revenue from property tax and annual demand are not ‘proportionate’, felt Mundhe. Also, he observed, the rates of property tax are lower as compared to other municipal corporations in State. As per the decisions taken by Mundhe, no officer/ employee will have discretion to assess property tax. Accordingly, he has fixed slabs for which powers will be delegated to the competent authorities. Assistant Commissioner in zone office of NMC will have powers to deal with property tax up to Rs 1.50 lakh or in case of properties having construction of 500 sq mtr or plot ad measuring 1,000 sq mtr.
Under the guidance of Deputy Municipal Commissioner (Revenue), Tax Assessor and Collector (Headquarters) will have powers to deal with tax from Rs 1.51 lakh to Rs 3 lakh or for construction between 501 sq mtr and 1,000 sq mtr, or open plot between 1,001 sq mtr to 2,000 sq mtr. The cases in which property tax is above Rs 3 lakh or construction is more than 1,001 sq mtr, or open plots ad measure more than 2,001 sq mtr, will be dealt with by Deputy Commissioner (Revenue).
With this change, the responsibility to assess tax for each construction and plot will be on Assistant Commissioner of respective zone. The order in this regard stated that several complaints regarding ownership transfer of properties were received at NMC headquarters, due to ‘mistakes committed by Tax Inspectors/ Engineering Assistants’. As per Maharashtra Municipal Corporation (MMC) Act, penalty can be levied on unauthorised constructions.
There are provisions for penalty at the rate of 50 per cent of property tax for such construction between 601 sq ft to 1,001 sq ft, and at the rate of double the annual property tax in case of such residential constructions above 1,001 sq ft. Assistant Commissioners have been asked to levy penalty on unauthorised constructions in respective areas in co-ordination with Town Planning Department, Enforcement Department, and Property Tax Department. “No laxity in this regard will be tolerated,” Mundhe has asked the officials.
‘Erring staff to face action’ IN MANY cases Revenue Inspectors/ Engineering Assistants did not assess property tax from time to time. As a result, many properties were left out of tax net, it has come to fore in GIS survey. Some officials/employees even misused their powers. NMC will take action against such erring officials. In fact, enquiry in such cases has been completed and officials/employees found guilty will face action.
If such officials/employees have retired, action under the provisions of Maharashtra Civil Services (Pension) Rules, 1982, Mundhe warned. It will assess tax with ‘retrospective effect’ on such properties from the date of such cases coming to the fore or date when such property got created, whichever is less.Already, Tax Assessment Section has initiated ‘corrective action’ in such cases.
‘Objections after stipulated date won’t be considered’ CITIZENS are expected to inform NMC within 15 days about change in property, new purchase, or building completion certificate. In many cases, such declaration was not done despite issue of notice by Tax Department. In such cases, NMC issued notice on the basis of GIS survey. Many citizens have not even filed objections to such notices within stipulated period. Filing objections after issue of tax demand is against rule, Mundhe stated. Hence, such objections will not be considered, he added.