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7-fold rise in property tax income of Pune Municipal Corporation
May, 26th 2014

Pune Municipal Corporation's (PMC) income from property tax has increased seven-fold in a decade.

The civic administration recently shared the details of the tax collection with the corporators. Where the revenue earned from property tax in 2003-04 was Rs 111 crore, the tax collection for 2013-14 amounted to Rs 750 crore.

Based on an assessment by the PMC, owners of around 7.5 lakh properties in the city, including open plots, commercial and residential properties, are liable to pay the tax.

"The improvement in the recovery system is one reason that has boosted revenue. There were many properties which were not under the tax ambit. The civic body conducted several drives over the years to take care of such properties," said Hemant Nikam, head of PMC's property tax department.

Barring 2007-08, when the total revenue reduced by Rs 9 crore, the property tax collection has been steadily rising. Civic officials cited better recovery process and proper distribution of bills as the reason behind the good collection. Earlier, many property owners did not get the bills on time and, therefore, avoided paying the tax. Recently, the PMC conducted a drive where they used brass bands and collected property tax dues of over Rs 90 crore.

The bands were hired to play loud music in front of such properties, shaming the owners into clearing their dues. Officials from the property tax department accompanied the bands to collect the payments. The drive was launched in March 2013 on an experimental basis. After getting a good response, the drive was converted into a regular scheme.

Civic officials said the annual discount offered in property tax to property owners has also increased the revenue. Citizens who pay their property tax dues before May 31 get a discount of 10% on their bills.

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