HYDERABAD: People owning open plots across the state will have to cough up vacant land tax (VLT) soon. Official sources said the departments of municipal administration and urban development (MA&UD) and panchayat raj and rural development (PR&RD) have drafted proposals to extend VLT to all municipalities and gram panchayats. The proposals were submitted to the state government for approval. At present, the VLT is enforced under GHMC limits.
The move is aimed to create additional financial resources for urban and rural local bodies which are facing a fund crunch for taking up various development activities.
The urban and rural local bodies are heavily dependent on state government for funds and the government too is not in a position to fulfil all financial needs of local bodies. Barring property tax, there is no other major revenue contributor to local bodies and the VLT is expected to fill the coffers of cash-starved local bodies to some extent.
Official sources said plot owners would have to pay up VLT every year amounting to 0.5 per cent of the plot value existing at the time of registration.
In September 2020, the state government launched LRS (layout regularisation scheme) across the state. It received over 25 lakh applications for LRS. Although the LRS could not be done even after a year due to a pending case in the Supreme Court against the scheme, the initiative helped the government gather data of open plots and owners which will be now utilised to impose vacant land tax.