Thane: Even after lockdown and pandemic losses suffered by citizens in the year 2020-21, the Thane and Kalyan Dombivli Municipal Corporation had collected a good amount for property tax.
The TMC has collected Rs 624.78 crore property tax and seized properties or valuables of 4,312 defaulters who are yet to pay the amount. Similarly, the KDMC has collected Rs 427.50 crore from property tax and Rs 67 crore from water tax in the city. Amid lockdown, both the corporations gave different discounts and offers for relief of the citizens over losses in lockdown.
The TMC in 2020-21 had to recover Rs 683 crore property tax. But in March, 2020, a lockdown was declared in the country and all shops and complexes were closed. Many suffered losses and closed their businesses. The corporation then came up with a scheme to not take the fine amount and interest imposed on the property tax, if they pay the complete amount.
"It helped in the collection, as many of them paid off the tax. Also who had not paid for 5 to 10 years paid the amount. During lockdown we started the collection drive online and on holidays. Also, the scheme was till January, but it was extended till March 31 and people took advantage of it. Due to the support of the public last year we had a collection of Rs 502 crore, and this year we collected Rs 122 crore more compared to last year," said Sandeep Malvi, deputy municipal commissioner, TMC. He further added from April to July we just did all office work from collecting the data to sending notice to the taxpayers.
Similarly, the KDMC that has a collection of Rs 427. 50 crore this year is more than last year i.e Rs 330 crore. Similarly, last year the water tax collection was Rs 61 crore and had increased to Rs 67 crore.
"On March 31, the last day itself there was a collection of Rs 10.78 crore. After the lockdown was imposed the main focus was to stop the spread of the virus. And to stop the spread, cash is needed for health and other facilities. The KDMC authorities came up with an amnesty scheme from October 15, 2020, to January 15, 2021, with 75 per cent exemption on interest helped in collecting Rs 230 crore. It was a great effort of the staff that even after being short-staffed they kept sending bills and notices to keep the collection up," said an official from KDMC.