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Authorities say raising tax necessary
May, 26th 2010

The recent hike in house tax as per the new circle rate announced by Varanasi Nagar Nigam (VNN) administration may have caused furore in the mini-assembly, but the authorities believe that the move is necessary to realise the much-needed funds for the municipal corporation even though it has put additional burden on the pockets of denizens.

As per SN Singh, additional municipal commissioner, while the GIS survey last year witnessed increase in the number of households under VNN, the recent hike would pave the way for generation of funds for development. "There is no other option but to go for hike in the house tax to provide momentum to the development work in different parts of the city," he claimed.

It may be mentioned here that the mini-assembly of VNN witnessed uproarious scene on Monday, in which a number of local ward corporators representing various political parties protested against the decision to hike the house tax (nearly 30 to 50 per cent). The members not only burnt copies of papers that displayed the notices of hike in house tax, but also rejected the decision of VNN administration to hike the house tax in the city.

The house was not taken into confidence and it was the unilateral decision of VNN administration, said Manoj Rai Dhupchandi, a local ward corporator from Samajwadi party (SP). Local BJP MLA Shyamdeo Roy Choudhary, who was present in the meeting, added that sudden hike in house tax would put additional burden on residents and the matter would be also raised in the coming state assembly meeting in Lucknow.

It is also worth mentioning that the city witnesses collection of house tax as per self assessment of house tax implemented from April 1, 2004. The house tax was hiked to nearly 15 per cent after GIS survey in 2009 that also increased the number of households from 1.41 lakh to nearly 1.54 lakh in the city.

Fast Facts

# The self-assessment of annual rental value of houses under different circles in the city, serving the basis for calculation of various property taxes including house tax, water tax and sewer tax are implemented from April 1, 2004

# The recent hike in house tax is between 30 to 50 per cent while the figure is around 30 per cent for water and sewer tax in the city

# As per GIS survey in 2009, there are 1.54 lakh households under the purview of property tax

# There are 2.12 lakh water supply connections in different parts of the city

What does the rule say?

# As per Section 172 of UP Municipal Corporation Act, 1959, municipal corporation can impose various kinds of taxes including property tax

# The sub-section (B) of the section also vests power with municipal commissioner to hike taxes for generating funds for development of municipal corporation from time to time

# The Section 173 of the act gives account of various kinds of property taxes that could be imposed on the basis of annual rental value of the land where it is to be taken. It includes house tax, water tax (where water is supplied though connections), sewer tax (in areas connected with sewerage pipeline) and conservancy tax (where toilets and bathrooms are operated and maintained by municipal corporation)

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