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Thread: Civic body picks taxpayers’ pockets

  1. Civic body picks taxpayers’ pockets

    Pune, March 20: THE Pune Municipal Corporation’s mismanagement of collecting taxes by charging excess property tax from citizens and getting away has now been brought to light. For over a decade, the PMC has been collecting excess property tax without making a correct assessment of the properties. So much so, that the Small Causes Court directed the PMC to refund over Rs 1.83 crore including interest to the tune of Rs 4.3 lakh.

    The refund pertains to 50-odd cases during the last decade — the oldest dating back to the mid-nineties, while the latest having occurred in 2005. The practice of collecting excess tax was brought forth after a Right to Information (RTI) activist Vihar Durve moved a requisition seeking to know year-wise cases filed by people in courts contesting the tax assessments.

    “I wanted to expose the mischief and malpractice indulged by the Pune Municipal Corporation in assessment of property taxes,” he said.

    Durve had also sought to know if the PMC had filed any cases against defaulters to recover taxes not paid by either individuals, trusts, shops or companies. “Interestingly, the PMC had not filed a single case against any defaulter to recover the taxes,” he said.

    It was also found that the bureaucratic delays in refunding the excess bills had caused the civic exchequer an additional burden of Rs 4,30,709.85. Durve has sought to know who is responsible for the misuse of public funds and whether the amount will be recovered from them.

    He claimed that there was much to read between the lines from the PMC’s replies to his RTI query.

    “It will be interesting to know why the PMC tax assessor issues excess bills in the first place when he is armed with a ready reckoner to assess the properties. In most cases, the property owners buckle to pressure and agree to settle the matter. There are only a few who undergo years of legal wrangles to let the courts decide the matter,” he said.

    Civic body picks taxpayers’ pockets

  2. Re: Civic body picks taxpayers’ pockets

    Good case study.


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