Days after the Gujarat government doubled the jantri rates for properties in the state, standing committee of the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC), on Friday, announced in its budget that it would charge property tax as per the old stamp duty rates for a period of three years.
The annual 5 per cent hike in property tax’s letting rate has also been reduced to 2 per cent in the AMC budget of Rs 9,482 crore, which is an increase of Rs 1,082 crore in the municipal commissioner’s draft budget.
“The decision has been taken to avoid additional burden on city residents. The property tax based on the old jantri rates will provide citizens a relief of Rs 300 crore,” said standing committee chairman, Hitesh Barot.
The draft budget tabled by Municipal Commissioner M. Thennarasan on January 31 proposed an increase of Rs 23 per square metre in the property tax from the existing Rs 16. The standing committee has slashed this to Rs 20 for residential properties. For non-residential properties, the draft budget had proposed a hike from the existing Rs 28 per square metre to Rs 37 per square metre. The standing committee Friday stuck to the old rates of Rs 34 per square metre.
Also Read: All You Need To Know About the Jantri
On the reduction in property tax proposed by the commissioner, Barot said, “The proposed hike would have resulted in a burden of Rs 465 crore on property owners in the city. The reduced hike would cut this to Rs 303 crore. Also, over Rs 1,700 crore of interest on unpaid property tax has been exempted.”
The standing committee also declined a hike in user charges for door-to-door garbage collection. The existing user charges of 2022-’23 will be implemented, as per the budget.
The user charges for solid waste management have been proposed from existing Re 1 per day to Rs 2 per day for residential properties above 30 square metres.
After a resolution by the standing committee, city residents have to pay a new charge — Environment Improvement Charge (EIC). However, the standing committee has announced to reduce the hikes proposed by the municipal commissioner.
As proposed by the commissioner, for residential properties, the EIC was from Rs 5 to Rs 3,000 for carpet area ranging in 0-5 square metres to more than 500 square metres. For non-residential areas, it was from Rs 150 to Rs 7,000. However, the committee reduced it to Rs 5 to Rs 1,000 for residential properties and Rs 75 to Rs 3,000 for non-residential properties.
“Since we do not have a pollution measuring tool, residents will be charged under EIC if they don’t use public transport and use their own vehicles, thus resulting in higher pollution levels. Property owners with more than 100 square metres carpet area are not using public transport. This is a hypothesis,” municipal commissioner said terming the EIC as “not a tax but charge.”