The lockdown has come in handy for the Mangaluru City Corporation (MCC) to move forward computerisation of property tax records. The extension of deadline to avail 5% property tax rebate till May 31 is also expected to give the MCC time to push this project.
Admitting that the lockdown has given the revenue department to focus on this project even with limited staff, Santosh Kumar, deputy commissioner (administration), MCC, also holding the charge of DC (revenue), said the civic body is gearing up for both manual and online modes of tax collection. “The focus with the pandemic going on is to go digital with our tax collection and MCC is striving to get the same completed at the earliest,” he said.
Data entry work on past property tax paid is presently on. “We are using tax receipts to compile the same… We have already pitched the digital payment idea with taxation, finance and appeals standing committee and the mayor,” he said.
Kumar said the move will require post-facto approval of the council in its maiden meeting. The proposed digital move will also come with an online tax calculator, he said.
The civic body has also plans to conduct a property tax returns mela at the Town Hall. Following social distancing norms, people at the mela may can pay their taxes manually or online, as per their preference. In one such drive at the venue, MCC collected Rs 10 lakh by way of trade license, Kumar said.
Asserting that a final picture will emerge once the lockdown ends on May 3, he said the MCC collected 40% of property tax during 2019-20.
MCC has been toying with idea of introducing online payment of taxes since Sameer Shukla became the first IAS officer to take charge as the MCC commissioner. The civic body has made computerisation of its office operations a flagship programme under different mayors since then.