June 22nd, 2021

Ghaziabad civic body hikes house tax by 15 percent, councillors oppose

Ghaziabad Municipal Corporation’s (GMC) decision to hike house tax by 15% for this fiscal has led to unrest among councillors, who say an increase during the pandemic, when many have lost their livelihoods, is unjust.

Officials, however, say that the proposal to hike the house tax at a rate of 5% every year was passed by the GMC board in 2017, and ever since, it has been a law, which they cannot change.

For the law to be taken back, a fresh proposal will need to be placed before the board after which it can be revised.

“In 2017, the GMC board passed the proposal to hike house tax by 5% every year, applicable once in two years, which would be 10%. But the new tax rate did not come into effect due to some reason or the other and it was further delayed due to the pandemic,” said Mahendra Singh Tanwar, municipal commissioner.

“Now we have hiked the house tax by 15%, due since 2017, but the move is being opposed by a section of councillors who think that at a time when we are in the midst of a pandemic, the hike is absolutely unwarranted. Anyway, the hike could be reversed only by the board itself,” he added.

Sanjeev Sinha, GMC’s chief tax assessment officer, said they collected about Rs 146 crore through house tax last year.

“As of now, there are over 3.5 lakh consumers within the GMC’s jurisdiction on which the tax rate is applicable and even with the hiked tax rates, the amount will not pose much of a burden on consumers.” GMC with hiked house tax rates hopes to earn a maximum of Rs 21 crore revenue. “The house tax rates are computed on the basis of a number of factors, including the width of road adjacent to a house, make of the house and other factors — the tax varies between 40 paisa per sq ft and Rs 1.40 per sq ft,” he said. However, Himanshu Mittal, councillor of ward number 91, said, “It is wrong to say that in 2017, the GMC board vetted the proposal to hike house tax in Ghaziabad. It was cleared only at GMC’s executive meeting.” “Moreover, GMC should hold back its decision to hike house tax because many people have lost their livelihoods during the pandemic and GMC, on its part, should not thrust any decision on residents at this time, so we are opposing it,” he added.