Struggling to augment its property tax recovery figures, the Mira Bhayandar Municipal Corporation (MBMC) has equipped its tax department with 23 Point of Sale (PoS) machines to enable citizens of the twin-city to easily pay property taxes at their doorstep. The machines were handed over by civic chief- Sanjay Katkar to the tax officials on Wednesday.
How the PoS machines work
Provided free-of-cost by Bank of Baroda, the PoS machines have been linked with the main data server of the MBMC and payments made by citizens will be reflected instantly. Once they make the payments, the taxpayers will get receipts generated through these machines, and they will also receive messages on their registered mobile numbers with links to download the receipts.
Updated system with 'collection' feature
The civic administration has also updated its system to incorporate the collection feature in its existing software. Property holders can not only swipe their credit/debit cards or use the dynamic Quick Response (QR) code to pay their taxes from their bank accounts or digital wallets, but can also issue cheques on the system. Moreover, outstanding can be generated by entering the name of the property holder whose name appears in the property tax bills. Earlier, the bills could be generated only after entering the unique identification number of the property.
₹102 crore collected in property tax in first 5 months
After registering a remarkable feat of collecting a record-breaking amount of more than Rs. 102 crore towards property tax in the first five months of the current fiscal (2023-24), the recovery process has started losing steam after the end of the early bird scheme (EBS) rolled out by MBMC which played a significant role in the surge in collections. While the collections have been limited to around Rs.27 crore in the past three months, the total recovery hovered above Rs. 129 crore till 19, November. However, the figures stood at Rs. 109 crore for the corresponding period (1, April to 19 November) last year.
Daunting Task Ahead
One of the major sources of revenue generation, property tax collections contribute a lion’s share in the annual budgets. Although collections amounting 280 crore had been projected for the current fiscal, the MBMC anticipates Rs. 232 crores owing to the presence of double and ghost entries in the tax registry. With just Rs.129 crore in its property tax kitty, the MBMC stares at a daunting task of recovering Rs.103 crore in the remaining four months.
To further add to their woes, the MBMC is expected to run short of manpower if elections are declared early next year.
Recovery Staff on Radar for Poor Collection
After scanning records of major defaulters in the six civic wards, tax department officials have been warned of strict action in case of negligence and carelessness towards recovery of property tax. “While showing notices have been issued to some officers, nine clerks attached to the tax department have been shunted out. Meanwhile a list of major defaulters has been prepared and these taxpayers will be asked to clear the dues or else legal action will be initiated against them.” said deputy civic chief (tax) - Sanjay Shinde.
The assessed number of properties in the twin city is currently pegged at around 4,00,607 including 64, 618 commercial and 3,35,989 residential units.