Property tax undervaluation is a golden egg for some KMC officials
KAMMAM: Khammam Municipal Corporation (KMC) loses ₹15 crore per year in property tax due to three major flaws in its revenue department – under-assessment of properties, abnormal delay in assessment of new properties and non-assessment in good standing properties that were previously residential but have now become commercial.
According to sources, according to a rough estimate, there are at least 400 properties in the 60 divisions of companies, whose property tax has been clearly underestimated. These include educational institutions, shopping malls and hospitals. For example, a shopping center on Wyra Road pays a property tax of only ₹28,000 for six months, instead of ₹80,000. Similarly, an educational institution in VDO settlement pays only ₹45,000 against ₹1.45 lakh.
Nearly 250 new buildings have been erected in prime locations. But their property tax has not yet been assessed. An example of this is an educational institution operating out of a building that was constructed seven years ago on Yellandu Road. Its property tax has not yet been assessed.
In addition, there had been road widenings in 20 KMC divisions. Following this, four years ago, around 300 homeowners converted their residential properties into commercial properties. The taxation of these commercial properties has not yet been revised. A shopping complex near Sriram Hills on Vijayawada Road is an example.
Interestingly, the tax on government buildings must also be assessed. But this has also not been done with regard to the new bus station and Transco offices located at five locations in Khammam.
The company’s tax officials are not unaware of these problems. But ignoring a realistic valuation of private property means income for some KMC officials, who have been in the revenue department for 15 years. These officials collect ₹5 lakh in bribes from various landlords per month.
An official from the Khammam Municipal Corporation, speaking on condition of anonymity, said: “Each finance officer has three private assistants to collect bribes from owners of undervalued properties at regular intervals. will be revealed only if the government launches an investigation into the matter,” the official remarked.