Property tax: Hassan CMC fails to arrive at consensus

Lack of clear policy on taxation has put citizens in quandary

Meeting: Member of Legislative Assembly H S Prakash addressing the general body meeting of City Municipal Council, in Hassan on Thursday. CMC Vice-President Vidya, President C R Shankar and Commissioner Shivananjegowda are also seen. Dh photo

As soon as the meeting began, Shyamsundar, a member opined that the CMC did not have a clear policy on property tax and this had put the citizens in quandary. Since the subject was important it should have been discussed in detail by calling the special meeting. “If I was given details of the proposed tax hike, after coming to meeting, how to read it and when to discuss? It was better to drop the subject in today’s meeting and convene a separate meeting”.

It was vouched by Manju Bangari of BJP. Former president, K T Prakash said no person would refuse to pay tax if he/she was given facilities. However, the CMC lacked a clear yardstick on taxation. Officers who came here filled their pockets but not provided facilities to general public. Under these circumstances the citizens would definitely oppose any hike in taxes, he noted.

He said there was no need to call a special meeting if they see those who were slapping penalty on those who failed to pay taxes. This was nothing but a day light robbery. If a person owes Rs 96,000 tax, he/she has to pay penalty over lakhs of rupees. The defaulters would come forward to pay taxes provided the CMC waives off interest.

The CMC had to take a suitable decision and drop its idea of hike in taxes, he added.
At this juncture, MLA H S Prakash intervened and said the CMC did not have power either to drop the proposed hike in taxes or waiving off interest as it has to be decided by the government. Besides, the government had already decided for revision of taxes and worked out a suitable policy. Under these circumstances, the CMC has to form a separate department to implement self-assessment property tax system. A separate set of staff would be recruited soon. At the most, the CMC can only adopt a resolution and send the same to the government urging the government to waive off interest. Again it was up to the government to accept or reject the resolution, he pointed out.

Later, the meeting decided to send a proposal to the government requesting it to waive off interest.

Criticised

Earlier, the members expressed unhappiness over the meeting hall. Former president, K T Prakash said they feel as if they came for marriage of rich persons. Bangari Manju of BJP said the CMC spends lakhs of rupees unnecessarily.

The meeting hall did not have good furniture. The auditorium has been names of Rashtrakavi Kuvempu.

The wall, on which the photo of Kuvempu hung, is also very shabby. The authorities bring furniture on rent for every meeting. A permanent arrangement should be made for this, he added.

Former president, Ambika Ravishankar said ` 45 lakh had been reserved for the renovation of the auditorium during her tenure.

The proposal has been Okayed by the deputy commissioner. But, the technical department was yet to give its nod. The renovation work is possible if officials take it seriously, she noted.

CMC President C R Shankar promised to ready the auditorium in a month provided the members adopt a resolution that they would attend the meeting till the meeting hall was not renovated.

The same resolution would be sent to the deputy commissioner for further course of action, he added.

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