MCC draws flak over its apathy in tax collection

Revenue generation falling, officials lax in performing duties, complain former Mayors at budget consultation meeting

The meeting convened by the Mysuru City Corporation (MCC) here on Wednesday for seeking suggestions from elected representatives, citizens and representatives of various organisations ahead of the presentation of budget for 2021-22 turned into a platform for the participants to hit out at the officials for poor tax recovery and shoddy revenue generation.

“How can you prepare the budget when the revenue generation continues to fall and the officials are not showing seriousness in recovering the taxes,” the participants asked.

Former Mayor Bhyrappa questioned the logic behind concentrating tax recovery only in certain pockets of the city while there were thousands of households that never paid taxes for years. The discrepancy in tax collection and the higher interest rates have turned the recovery poor. No tax is being collected from 28 revenue layouts despite providing the services, he said.

The MCC’s revenue position would have been better if it had shown all seriousness in collecting taxes from all the 2-lakh plus properties. “The officials are not keen on mobilising the resources as they delayclearing the files on building plans and khata transfers,” he said, questioning the reason for imposing two per cent interest on property tax dues since September 2020 when there is time to pay the taxes till March 31, 2021.

Another former Mayor, Purushottam, questioned the reason for keeping the MCC and its staff when it is not performing. A number of new residential localities are being added to the MCC but the tax collection continues to be poor. Unless the taxes of the respective years were not strictly collected, the MCC cannot think of developing the city, he argued.

“The MCC staff are only after the poor when it comes to tax recovery, sparing the rich and the traders. Such an attitude of the staff must go,” he said.

Srikantaiah, one of the seniormost members of the MCC and a former Mayor, said officials’ commitment to their work has come down though the number of officials and the expenditure over the years have gone up.

“It is high time the tax collection becomes professional and strict, and the staff need to be given monthly targets on property tax and water bills from all nine zones. Despite having a list of over 500 trades across the city, there are many trades that are operating without valid licences, depriving revenue to the MCC.”

He suggested that the MCC adopt the model of electricity supply corporations in recovering their dues from the consumers. But the MCC lacks the will to do it the way the other corporations do. “The MCC is not a charitable institution but a service-oriented institution and it should function without compromising on its roles and responsibilities.”

There were suggestions at the meeting for finding a remedy to the issue of completion report (CR) which the MCC has stopped issuing to the properties over deviation in building plans. This could bring additional revenue to the MCC.

The MCC was also told to look for building new marketing spaces as a means of revenue generation. The revenue from the markets owned by the MCC has become insignificant with no revision in rent since years and the MCC should look for new revenue generation methods, such as construction of new markets, wherever it has land.

Mayor Tasneem, who was supposed to have chaired the meeting, did not attend. It was presided over by the Deputy Mayor. MCC Commissioner Gurudatta Hegde and others were present.

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