Nearly 250 new buildings have come up in prime localities. But their property tax has not been assessed yet. Representational image/DC
KHAMMAM: Khammam Municipal Corporation (KMC) is losing 15 crore per year by way of property tax due to three major flaws in its revenue department – under assessment of properties, abnormal delay in assessing new properties, and not duly assessing properties that were earlier residential but have now become commercial.
Sources said, according to a rough estimate, there are at least 400 properties within the 60 divisions of corporations, whose property tax has been clearly under assessed. These include education institutions, shopping malls and hospitals. For example, a shopping mall on Wyra Road is paying property tax of only 28,000 for six months, instead of 80,000. Likewise, an education institution in VDO’s Colony is paying just 45,000 against 1.45 lakh.
Nearly 250 new buildings have come up in prime localities. But their property tax has not been assessed yet. An example of this is an education institution running from a building that was built seven years ago on Yellandu Road. Its property tax has not been assessed so far.
Further, there had been road-widening in 20 divisions of KMC. Following this, about 300 house owners converted their properties from residential to commercial four years ago. Tax of these commercial properties has not been revised as yet. A commercial complex near Sriram Hills on Vijayawada Road is an example of this.
Interestingly, tax on government buildings also needs to be assessed. But that has not been done either with regard to the new bus stand and Transco offices located at five places in Khammam.
Revenue officials of the corporation are not unaware of these issues. But ignoring a realistic assessment of private property translates into an income for certain KMC officials, who have been continuing in the revenue department for past 15 years. These officials are collecting 5 lakh as kickbacks from various property owners per month.
An official of Khammam Municipal Corporation, on condition of anonymity, said, "Each revenue official has three private assistants to collect kickbacks from owners of under-assessed properties at regular intervals. These underhand dealings will get exposed only if government launches an inquiry into the issue," the official remarked.