The Coronavirus outbreak has adversely affected the property tax collections of the civic bodies of the city and Pimpri Chinchwad.
The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) could mop up only 40% of the revenue compared to the corresponding period of last year. The PMC had earned Rs380 crore from April 1 and May 18, 2019. The revenue has reduced to only Rs150 crore this year during the same period. Poor response to offline payment system has affected the collection.
The revenue in the Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) has also gone down by 79%. Against Rs57.57 crore collected between April 1 and May 19, 2019, the collections for the same period this year have been Rs11.78 crore.
The citizens usually come forward in large numbers to pay the tax before May 31, as the PMC administration offers 10-20% discount on the tax. “Many citizens pay tax at the citizens facilitation centres that were closed due to the lockdown. It has affected the revenue,” said Vilas Kanade, head of the PMC’s property tax department.
He said around 50% of the total revenue generated by the PMC came through the online mode. But the decline in offline collection has impacted the overall revenue. The civic administration has kept a target of Rs2,000 crore for the 2020-21 financial year.
The impact of Covid-19 and the ensuing loss to business and households have resulted in a double whammy for the Pimpri Chinchwad civic body’s property tax department. To add to this, no new property transaction has been possible since April 1, 2020.
Last year, the civic body had earned Rs490 crore through property tax as against Rs472 crore in the previous year ending March 2019. The civic body had also proposed a hike in property tax for old properties, as the rates of the adjacent properties in many areas remained drastically different despite the residents enjoying the same civic amenities.
A PCMC official said the proposal to hike tax rates was likely to be put on the back burner now. Small industries in the township have been demanding a waiver of property tax this year because of the economic hardship in the time of Covid-19.