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Decision on tax rate hike under self-assessment-scheme at special meeting
June, 02nd 2014

Mayor Mahabala Marla is yet to affirmatively uphold the Congress' pre-election promise of not affecting property tax hike under self-assessment scheme.

With the opposition not in a mood to relent on the issue or let the Congress forget its pre-poll promise, Marla at the first general meeting of Mangalore City Corporation deferred a decision on the subject to a special meeting.

With leader of the opposition Premanand Shetty reminding Marla of his party's promise on SAS and wanting to know if the excess amount paid by citizens will be refunded or adjusted next year, Marla said, "I am yet to hear from the urban development ministry or the secretary concerned from whom a clarification has been sought."

Marla had written to the minister, secretary and election commission officials in this regard during LS polls.

Assuring the members that the writ of the council will prevail on the issue, Marla said he will convene a special meeting ahead of the next general meeting of the council where all issues related to the property tax under SAS will be discussed.

Sudheer Shetty Kannur of BJP widened the scope of the discussion on the subject by seeking details if the corporation has gone after tax defaulters.

Naveen D'Souza of the Congress wondered if the property tax returns filed under SAS are being actually verified on the ground or taken on its face value.

Marla observed that as a thumb rule it can be safely assumed that 75% of the property owners are honest and pay up while the rest don't.

Commissioner Ajit Kumar Hegde Shanady, who admitted that there is no system to verify the accuracy of property tax returns filed, however, said he has instructed the zonal commissioner, assistant revenue officers and revenue inspectors to prepare a ward wise compendium of such tax returns filed.

"Notices will be issued to defaulters through the media and steps will be taken to randomly check the returns filed and plus revenue leakages, if any," he added.

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