The civic administration and office bearers claim lack of citizen-friendly rebate schemes, poor public awareness measures and lack of strict action against officers for dereliction of duties have led to AMC’s depleting coffers.The condition is said to be worse with water tax collection as dues pending for last couple of years are yet to be collected.
Even the AMC mayor Nandu Ghodele, who recently chaired review meeting related to the tax collection, said the civic authorities have not pulled up their socks and there is no roadmap for improving tax recovery.
While nearly cent per cent tax collection is must for civic development and maintenance of related amenities, no adequate measures on the part of AMC has prompted demand for concerted measures for improving tax collection.
Civic activist Rajendra Datey-Patil said the AMC must introduce rebate schemes to encourage citizens to pay their property tax in time. “The civic body for years has shown no clear intention to improve tax collection. They must evolve rebate schemes and clear citizen-friendly system to improve its coffers. However, the local civic body does not see tax recovery as a priority,” he said.
Shiv Sena corporator Raju Vaidya said stern action will only improve tax recovery for AMC. “The civic staffers failing to ensure recovery must be penalised harshly. The state power utility has been taken such stern measures and hence are able to get good recovery. The AMC must also chart out ward-wise micro planning to improve tax collection,” he said.
The civic authorities failed to share offhand information on the pending dues of water tax collection. The presence of illegal water connection is a major stumbling block in recovery of water taxes. The AMC recently postponed the deadline for regularizing illegal water connections up to March 31 next year for the fifth time.
Senior AMC official said concerted measures would be taken to improve tax recovery before March 31. “We have cancelled holidays of recovery staffers to improve the tax collection. The zone F has shown maximum recovery so far, while zone C is at the bottom. We will ensure good recovery through all 115 wards shortly,” an officer said.