Property tax collections in the twin cities appear to have taken a severe beating due to simultaneous elections to the Lok Sabha and Assembly. As against the target of Rs 700 crore for the financial year 2008-09, the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) could hardly collect anywhere between Rs 365 crore- 370 crore.
Today was the last day for the payment of the property tax for the financial year 2008-09.
The GHMC was confident of reaching the Rs 400-450 crore mark in property tax collections for the financial year closure, but the authorities have scaled it down due to elections as well. Besides, the government has announced waiver of penalty on arrears.
Because of the waiver, GHMC had lost at least Rs 80 crore by waiving the penalty interest amount of two per cent per month in all the 18 municipal circles, Additional Commissioner (Finance) B Ramesh Babu told Expresso.
The tax collections were poor because most of the staff was diverted to perform election duty, he added.
As on Tuesday evening, total collections stood at Rs 340 crore and another Rs 30 crore to Rs 40 crore will be mopped up before midnight.
Because of the elections, the State Government could not pay Rs 15 crore due to the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation for various properties belonging government in twin cities. They only paid for one quarter, i.e Rs 5 crore.
The collection from the suburbs was about Rs 70 crore this year, he said.
Last year, the erstwhile Municipal Corporation of Hyderabad had fetched a record Rs 210 crore.
This year the annual income is around Rs 1,100 crore that includes property tax collections and remaining revenue is generated through advertisements, trade licenses and building permissions.