Pune: In a proactive move to bolster its revenue streams, the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) is gearing up to auction properties whose owners have long evaded property tax payments. This initiative comes as the PMC faces rising expenditures and seeks to fortify its fiscal position.
Municipal Commissioner Vikram Kumar announced, "The Property Tax Department has taken action against 1,618 properties, and our plan is to auction 200 properties in the first phase, scheduled for October."
The PMC, which relies heavily on revenue from construction development charges, GST refunds, and property tax, is aiming for an estimated property tax revenue of ₹2,400 crores for the fiscal year 2023-24, with ₹1,400 crores already in its treasury. Property tax, primarily derived from residential properties, forms a critical part of the PMC's finances. Efforts are also being made to increase earnings from non-residential properties.
Property owners who have defaulted on their tax obligations now face property sealing as a consequence. Those who have cleared their tax dues have had their seals removed. However, for persistent non-compliance, the PMC is determined to recover arrears through property auctions.
The proceeds from these auctions will initially be used to clear outstanding arrears, with any surplus returned to the respective property owners. The PMC has currently sealed 1,618 properties, representing a total outstanding amount of ₹96,27,00,918.
It's important to note that the auction process will not be immediate for all sealed properties. Priority will be given to properties strategically located on main roads, prominent areas, and those without legal disputes. The auctions will proceed only after completing necessary legal procedures, including property assessments, notifications to concerned landowners, and ensuring transparency in the process.
To facilitate a smooth auction process, personnel from the Property Tax Department have received training to ensure compliance with legal requirements. A comprehensive timeline for the upcoming property auctions has been formulated following a recent workshop and meeting.