The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has decided to cancel its property tax incentive scheme aimed at encouraging citizens to report cases of property tax theft.
The move to cancel the scheme, according to Ajit Deshmukh, Deputy Commissioner of the PMC Tax Department, was driven by concerns over potential misuse. The PMC feared that the program could be exploited by individuals providing false information about property tax theft, which could undermine the credibility of the incentives.
In an attempt to boost property tax collection, the PMC had previously offered various incentives, including discounts, rebates, and even gifts, to encourage timely payments until August 2. However, despite these efforts, the PMC fell short of its revenue collection target of Rs 2,318 crore from property tax, managing to collect only around 60% of the goal.
To compensate for this revenue shortfall, the PMC has now enlisted the assistance of staff from other municipal departments to intensify efforts to recover outstanding tax amounts. This includes measures like property sealing, property auctions, and addressing legal matters related to unpaid property taxes.
PMC Commissioner Vikram Kumar has expressed concern that the discontinuation of the incentive scheme may impact the morale of city employees dedicated to evaluating newly developed properties, properties with altered uses, and properties with expanded areas. Despite their vital contributions, these civic employees do not receive rewards for their efforts, potentially affecting their commitment to the role. There is also the possibility that they may opt to transfer property identification responsibilities to third parties or organizations in exchange for additional funding.