Greater Hyderabad civic body may revise property tax rates

HYDERABAD: In what seems to be the final attempt to bail itself out of the ongoing fiscal deficit, the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) is now mulling doing away with the property tax waiver and re-evaluating properties in the city to earn more revenues.

The civic body’s finances have been on a steady decline after its attempt to bail out the Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC) and Hyderabad Metropolitan Water Supply & Sewerage Board (HMWS&SB) following government orders.

Making matters worse, the state government is yet to release funds to the tune of Rs 400 crore, granted by the central government, to the civic body, say officials.

Following the slew of debts piling onto the civic body, officials said that they were indeed planning on revising the property tax rates and considering re-evaluating properties in the city, much to the ire of citizens.

“Before considering to increase the property tax rates, officials must first conduct an audit of their revenue model that will help them plug all the loopholes. If the rates are hiked without a proper audit system, people will end up paying more,” said G V Rao, a resident of Alwal.

In the last financial year, the GHMC had a deficit of Rs 571.68 crore. Its total revenue amounted to Rs 2,500 crore as against an expenditure of Rs 3,072.25 crore.

“Expenses are more than the capital receipts in GHMC. It is very difficult to bridge the gap owing to the number of magnanimous schemes the state government has launched. For the auto-tipper scheme, we have to pay close to Rs 1 crore per month,” said J Shankeraiah, additional commissioner, revenue.

Not just auto-tippers, the civic body also gave away Rs 198 crore to the transport department and has to share 15% of its revenue with the water board.

Courtsey: TNN | 20-August-16

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