CMC to lock up schools failing to pay tax

CMC to lock up schools failing to pay tax

47 schools buildings constructed in violation of laws, says civic body chief

 City Municipality has directed the officials to lock educational institutions which have not paid the property tax within the stipulated time.

Speaking at a meeting with the representatives of District Private Educational Institutions Association here on Wednesday, municipal president B M Mubarak said that of the 58 school buildings in the municipal limits 47 had been constructed in violation of building byelaws.

S Muniyappa, the president of the Association, said that the State government has exempted recognised educational institutions from paying building tax.

The High Court too has ordered the government not to collect any property tax from educational institutions.”However, the municipality has issued us a notice demanding double the property tax,” he said.

He said that the officials of the municipality were collecting tax from the school buildings forcefully. He said that they were not running the school for business but with a service mentality.

Additional floors have been constructed for the school building owing to increase in the number of children seeking admission.

It would be difficult to run the educational institution if the municipality demands double the tax amount.

Muniyappa said that they were running the schools and colleges on their own land and in spite of it had to face harassment from municipal officials.

He sought to know should the students be refused admission citing lack of space.
Municipal Commissioner K N Lakshminarayana said that property tax was being demanded from the schools in according to law.

He said that notices had been issued to those who have constructed buildings or floors unauthorisedly and no law was being violated in demanding property tax.

Vice President of the Association V Narayanaswamy said that they were not foreigners. He said that they had constructed the buildings by obtaining permission from the then gram panchayats on payment of statutory fee and development charges.

The buildings have now been included in municipal limits and hence it was not proper on the part of municipality to demand payment of development charges again.
Municipal president Mubarak, however, hit back saying that they too know law and the challenges of running an educational institution.

“Tax could be exempted for charitable institutions. You shoulder the responsibility of educating people on what is right and what is wrong. It is not proper on your part to violate law,” he retorted.

Mobilising resources
The president said that the municipality does not get more funds from the government and had to mobile resources at the local level.

It cannot be blind to blatant violation of law. Three storeys including the basement could be constructed within municipal limits.

Any building with more than three storeys will be constructed as unauthorised constructions and double the property tax will be collected from them, Mubarak added.

He said that approved plan and building licence should be obtained from the city
municipality and Urban Development Authority for constructing any building.
 The municipality provides basic facilities such as water, road and drainage to
educational institutions. Hence, they have to pay development charges.

Moreover, the private educational institutions have not been offering education free of cost, Mubarak said and directed the officials to lock the buildings of educational institutions if they fail to pay the demanded tax within seven days of the notice.

CMC Standing Committee chairperson Kashi Vishwanath, Association General Secretary A Sadananda and others were present in the meeting.