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Secunderabad Cantonment Board cracks whip on tax defaulters

Secunderabad Cantonment Board cracks whip on tax defaulters
Highlights

The Secunderabad Cantonment Board (SCB) mopped up Rs 30 lakh in the last three days towards property tax.

Secunderabad: The Secunderabad Cantonment Board (SCB) mopped up Rs 30 lakh in the last three days towards property tax. The Board started a drive after a lukewarm response in 2017-18. The property tax revenue collection had declined by Rs 3 crore in the last fiscal and is one of the major sources of revenue for the cash-starved board.

The other sources of revenue include water bill, toll tax, layout sanctions and shop rent. There are 15,000 properties spread over eight wards as per the official records and house numbering data. Tax wing officials say that they are first concentrating on commercial establishments.

In the last few days, 25 commercial establishments in Bowenpally, Kharkhana and other places were seized. The response is good say officials as a majority of the owners whose properties were seized end up paying the amount in a day or two.

Clearing deficit

The last fiscal collection was the lowest recorded in five years. A deficit of Rs 12 crore was recorded in 2018-19 and the SCB is looking to bridge this gap. Two teams have been formed and have been on the job for the last week. Officials say that many property owners only wake up when we repeatedly inform them. Out of the 15,000 owners, 10,000 property owners pay online.

"It is another headache for us. Owners are still reluctant to pay online." The property tax collections since 2011-2012 rose from Rs 8 crore in 2011-12 fiscal to Rs 23 crore in 2018-19. Rs 26 crore was the collection in 2017-18. Officials, however, say that the property tax collection ought to be Rs 35 crore per year.

RTC depot owes 2.5 cr

There are several big wigs in the Secunderabad Cantonment not paying property tax. The tax wing conducted an assessment and are now zeroing on big defaulters. The RTC Cantonment Depot next to the Jubilee Bus Depot has been defaulting for years.

A senior official said that there are also a few board members too who have commercial establishments who have not paid up. The SCB has served demand notices to property owners after assessments. The teams are also going door-to-door to collect tax. One of the reasons cited for the low collections last fiscal was Lok Sabha polls as the staff was engaged in poll duty.

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