Kadapa: There are several irregularities in over one lakh tax assessments for homes and commercial buildings in the urban areas of Kadapa district.
The revenue staff has made these discrepancies by notifying commercial buildings as resident for computing property tax in Kadapa municipal corporation and all the nine municipalities in the district. All these irregularities came to light recently with the Geographical information system (GIS) survey.
Allegations about these discrepancies have been prevalent for a long time but the GIS survey has nailed them with evidence. After the government got complaints on the property tax assessments, it appointed a private agency for the GIS survey.
There are 88,308 assessments in Kadapa corporation, where the GIS survey found differences in 30,277 assessments. In Proddutur, the total assessments were 30,248 and 20,619 discrepancies were found. In Badvel out of 22,920 assessments 13,630 were wrong, in Pulivendula there were a total of 20,070 but differences were found in 12,892. In Rayachoti of 24,817, differences were found in 11,406, in Mydukur 12,117 total assessments and discrepancies were found in 8,203. In Jammalamadugu 5,080 out of 10,781 were wrong, in Yerraguntla 4,148 out of 10,119 assessments had discrepancies while in Rajampeta, 824 assessments had discrepancies out of 10,406 total assessments. Totally 1,07,79 property tax assessments were found to have discrepancies as per the GIS survey report.
If the tax assessment was made as per norms, the municipalities would get more than Rs 20 crore as added income to the government treasury. Kadapa corporation alone will get Rs 4 crore added income.
In view of the general elections, the government stopped the survey, when it was 80 per cent complete. The survey covered Kadapa corporation, Proddutur, Rayachoti, Mydukuru, Pulivendula, Badvel, Rajampeta, Jammalamadugu and Yerraguntla municipalities in the district. There are a total 2,77,753 tax assessments in all the municipalities including Kadapa corporation.
The government is getting Rs 79.11 crore per annum as income from property tax from all these assessments in the district. When the survey is 100 per cent complete in the district and new assessments are recorded, the municipal administration will get approximately Rs 20 crore added income, and as a result, the income in municipalities may exceed Rs 100 crore under the property tax head.
There was an allegation that, the municipal revenue staff were carrying out deception in tax valuation. Usually property tax is charged according to the area, and extent of the building. Some of the municipal staff is reportedly taking bribes from the building owners and reducing the extent of building, and changing commercial to residential to bring down the tax. It results in a loss to the municipality revenue, but the owner benefits.
Almost in all municipalities, more than 50 per cent assessments were in default. GIS survey teams noticed that the differences were mainly in Kadapa corporation followed by Yerraguntla, Prodduturu, Mydukur, Rayachoti, Badvel, Pulivendula and Jammalamadugu. Sudanakoli Lavanna, commissioner, speaking with this newspaper said that he would act against the discrepancies found in the property tax assessments. “We are waiting for government orders for the new assessment to be recorded,” he added....