While the Vadodara Municipal Corporation (VMC) may have given multiple payment options to citizens to pay property taxes, only a select few seem to be using these.
VMC has started accepting the taxes at several bank branches in the city, through online payment or ATMs, but only around 15 per cent of the tax payers used these facilities.
The civic body traditionally accepted taxes only at its ward offices in cash or through cheques. But over the years, it started accepting taxes with credit and debit cards, through online payments using its website.
This year, VMC even roped in three leading private sector banks in the process and the citizens were given the option of paying taxes at the branches of these banks. A bank even offered to collect taxes from the residences of senior citizens and women tax payers along with the option of paying taxes at its ATMs. Despite these efforts, all ward offices witnessed long queues for paying taxes.
Till August 6, VMC collected Rs 185.64 crore towards property tax. The deadline for collection of taxes in eight wards had expired by then even as the process would continue in four wards till Monday.
Data provided by the VMC reveals that only 14.96 per cent of the tax payers used means other than the traditional way of submitting cheque or cash at VMC ward offices to pay taxes. The total amount paid by sources other than cash or cheque at VMC offices amounts to Rs 29 crore which is 15.6 per cent of the total collection of taxes by the VMC so far.
A VMC official said that attempts were made to popularize the new means of paying taxes, but it seems that people were still reluctant to use these. "We had even put up boards of the three leading banks at all ward offices declaring that the taxes could be paid there too, but not many used the option," said an official.