Hubballi-Dharwad Municipal Corporation(HDMC) has launched a drive to trace property tax evaders and collect tax along with penalty. There are several open sites without proper fencing in 82 wards of HDMC and they have become garbage dumps.
Many owners of these sites who do not reside in the twin cities have not paid property tax for years. Some have constructed houses illegally and are paying tax only for the open sites.
HDMC has so far identified 3,614 such properties and has taken steps to recover unpaid taxes to the tune of Rs 22 crore. So far Rs 6 crore has been collected, said HDMC commissioner B Gopalkrishna.
Explaining the methodology of tracing tax evaders, he said the records will show whether the houses constructed are legal and if they are illegal and tax is paid only for the site, the date of electricity connection will be traced.
From that date, tax will be imposed with 200% penalty and a challan will be generated, he said. Once the challan is generated, there will be 2% interest on the tax amount till the date it is paid by the property owner. After this measure was initiated, many have come forward to pay taxes.