Muncipal Corporation Shimla affix over methodology of tax collection


By : Mohan Verma

This civic body seems to affix over lack of consensuses over types of methodology to collect properties tax after adopting Unit Area Tax method approved by last Congress house and upheld by last BJP rule amending MC bye laws for the same.

Irrespective of political affiliation councilor opposing it, as the exercise of a special house meeting of the Shimla Municipal Corporation (SMC) here on Thursday again put the ball in the court of the state government.

SMC, Mayor Sanjay Chauhan at the close of the meeting said, “Abiding by the High Court orders we were bound to frame the bye-laws, however we have again urged the state government to bring about the necessary amendment in the Shimla Municipal Amendment Act 2011 that had been brought about after notification on February 28, 2012.”

The Mayor and Deputy Mayor met the Urban Development minister Sudhir Sharma a day before and were hopeful of his assurances of bringing about amendment in the act by bringing it in the assembly during the monsoon session of the Vidhan Sabha.

“We have been opposing it since last two years ever since the new civic body had been elected as the new system of tax collection was not feasible as it was irrational. There was need for evolving some rational taxation system for property tax collection so as to ensure that the financial burden does not shifts from rich to poor. Today in the house we reviewed the bye-laws and brought about some changes,” he said.

Provisions in the bye-laws made include exemption of property tax on setbacks of building, agricultural land, green belt area, religious places for worship, properties owned fully by differently abled, single lady, widows and furthermore the 100 sq mt self-occupied residential house that was not taxable under the old system be charged nominal amount.

He said repeated attempts since last two years had failed to move both the previous BJP government and the incumbent Congress led government to bring about changes to the HP Municipal Corporation Amendment Act 2011.

This is for the fourth time in the last two years that the SMC is seeking state government’s help to bring about amendment in the new system (Unit Area Method) of property tax collection.

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ML Verma is a Senior journalist, with more than a decade of experience of active reporting for electronic media, news agencies and fast paced online media.

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