Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation commissioner, M. Thennarasan, presented a draft budget of Rs 8,400 crore for 2023-24 before the standing committee, Tuesday. In a bid to recover from financial losses of the pervious ending, seems the civic body is all out to tax residents. While property tax has been increased after 10 years, a “user fee” has been proposed as the “new environmental improvement fee to prevent pollution in the city.” The surcharge for door-to-door sanitation has also been doubled. In a respite of sorts, the water and water conservation taxes have not been increased.
Significantly, the increase in residential property tax comes after 10 years of a uniform rate. The revised tariff for residential properties has been raised from Rs 7 to Rs 23 per sq meter while the rate for commercial properties has been elevated from Rs 9 to Rs 37.
Reasoning the “user fee” towards curbing pollution, the civic body’s commissioner held out that “urban people drive their own cars, which, in turn, contributes to pollution.” The user fee will be charged on basis of property classification: Rs 5 to Rs 3000 per square meter for residential properties and Rs 150 to Rs 7000 for non-residential properties.
The user fee segment also covers door-to-door garbage collection service charges. This has also been increased in the city, to the tune of Rs 2 per day from the previous Re 1 per day for residential properties. Different rates have been suggested for commercial properties. The increase in taxes has been done keeping in mind the increasing administration expenditure, various development projects, and income.
The commissioner also clarified that the tax increase was proposed after consultations with the government. Meanwhile, the standing committee will deliberate on the proposals till the next meeting.
Among the identifiable expenses that the civic body incurs is the salary and pension of civic officials. “It tallies a whopping Rs 140 crore per month, while the revenue is only Rs 93 crore. Added, AMC-affiliated AMTS, BRTS, and AMC generate Rs 1,221 crore annually but that amount is diverted to MET School Board, MJ Library and Sabarmati Riverfront Development Corporation. Hence, an increase in the tax slabs will help ease the stringency,” explained an AMC insider.
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