VIJAYAWADA: AP Urban Citizen Forum (APUCF) has demanded that AP government announce 50 percent rebate in property tax to help people who have been facing a severe financial crisis due to economic downturn following the Coronavirus pandemic.
The demand has risen soon after the Telangana government issued an order giving 50 percent discount in payment of property tax to house owners paying up to Rs. 15,000 in Hyderabad and Rs. 10,000 in other cities and towns of Telangana.
Welcoming the move of the neighbouring state, APUCF convener Ch. Babu Rao pointed out that people of Andhra Pradesh have been facing severe financial difficulties due to the loss of income or jobs following the pandemic that started in March 2020. Even prior to that, many families had been facing a crisis due to the economic downturn. Due to these twin blows, majority of families in Andhra Pradesh are not in a position to pay their taxes, as they had lost their income or their tenants had vacated their rented premises and left for their native places because they had lost their jobs.
APUCF convener deplored that instead of coming to rescue of the people, the state government is imposing a 24 percent penalty on late payment of taxes.
He pointed out that as per central government norms, the state government is planning to impose property taxes based on value of the property. This would be burdensome for house owners. He lamented that in a few cities, including Vijayawada, the government is planning to collect user charges for lifting garbage, which would increase the financial burden on citizens. Further, the government’s proposal to fit water metres to taps and charge accordingly will be an additional financial burden on the citizens, Babu Rao added.