On the issue of collection of house tax by Ghazibad Municipal Corporation (GMC) from the high-rises of Raj Nagar Extension, the Federation of Apartments Owner’s Association Raj Nagar Extension (FedAOARNE) met with the officials of Ghaziabad Municipal Corporation on Monday and submitted a memorandum letter querying the veracity of the tax collection.
In the letter, the federation asked on what basis and rule, the corporation is levying house tax on an area that is not maintained by the corporation itself. The Federation also asked if the tax is being levied in a retrospective manner. Besides, the amount collected from the tax till date and if it was spent on any development or maintenance work in the area.
The collection of the house tax has become a matter of contention between the residents of the area and the corporation. For the last few weeks, the corporation is collecting tax from the high-rises of the area. While the area is still under the jurisdiction of Ghaziabad Development Authority, the residents are trying to find the rationale behind this decision of GMC.
“Why do we pay tax to GMC when the civic body does not provide us a single facility,” questioned Gajendra Arya, president of FedAOARNE.
The residents questioned that if the tax is being collected from an area, then the residents of that region should be benefitted. “Otherwise, what would be the purpose of collecting tax. It’s collected against the services provided,” Arya questioned the rationale behind the application of the tax.
While the FedAOARNE questioned GMC officials on the validity of the house tax levied on the residents of Raj Nagar Extension, the fact is, Municipal Corporations of Uttar Pradesh are empowered by a law to charge house tax to the colonies that fall under their limits. Under the clause, Section172 of the UP Municipal Corporation Act 1959, the Municipal Corporations are empowered to levy property tax on the houses lying under their perimeter of governance, irrespective of the fact that they provide service or no service in the area.
Reacting upon this, Arya acknowledged the rule but maintained his stance. “We are ready to pay tax but we should be getting some facility in return,” he added.
Meanwhile, the GMC officials told CitySpidey that they are just following the rule. “The area comes under the limit of GMC and as per rule, we can levy house tax there (area),” told a GMC official.
Arya also said that the Federation may move legally if the contention is not resolved amicably. “It would be our last resort,” added Arya.
The Raj Nagar Extension project is under development and is brought up by private dwellers. A large number of the population resides in over 40 housing societies in the area. The GDA provides maintenance of road, sewer and sanitation services in the area till the time it’s being handed over to GMC.