Tax hike protests continue
Saturday, September 06, 2008
Congress and Gujarat Jan Andolan continue demonstrations
The protests over the sharp rise in property taxes continued on Friday, with the Congress staging dharnas at SMC’s Athwa zone and Gujarat Jan Andolan activists burning tax notices at Udhna zone.
City Congress president, Sunil Bhukhanwala, leader of opposition in SMC, Babu Kapadia, and other Congress workers took part in the dharna to protest the hike in property tax. “We can understand a small hike in taxes, but the unjustified increase levied by the ruling BJP cannot be accepted under any circumstances,” Bhukhanwala said.
Stating that the issuance of property tax notices has already been stopped, he expressed confidence that the hike would be withdrawn within two or three days. Congress sources said that the party’s youth wing organised a maha-aarti at Puna village late on Friday evening to press for withdrawal of the hike.
Continuing its agitation against the steep rise in property taxes, the Gujarat Jan Andolan, formed by ex-BJP rebels, set afire prope………..
Civic body discontinues issuance of tax notices
Saturday, September 06, 2008
Facing numerous protests against the steep rise in property tax rates, Surat Municipal Corporation (SMC) has temporarily stopped issuing property tax notices. The issuance of notices will commence after rectifying the errors, and a possible change in rates, officials said.
Head of assessment department, SMC, RR Chaudhry said “The distribution of new tax notices has been stopped since the last two days. They will be issued after the errors are rectified. Moreover, the notices that have been dispatched are also being recalled.” Officials added that a fresh survey would be conducted in all zones to remedy the errors that have appeared in the tax notices.
The property tax rate has increased by at least three to four times the earlier tax rates on account of implementation of area-based self-assessment property tax system. In some cases, the tax rates have increased by as much as 50 to 60 times. Predictably, citizens, and even some BJP councillors, arose in vehement ………..
SMC wants ‘to-the-point’ objections
Friday, September 05, 2008
Civic officials defended the increase in property tax of slum dwellers by providing them various facilities
The SMC on Thursday asked the citizens to submit to-the-point objections over the property tax issue.
Officials said that they have received around 8,200 objections for the area based property tax assessment system so far, but many of them are general in nature.
“In case of any objections, the citizens should submit proper details like area of property, its age, type of use, ownership, among others. The information can be used to rectify any mistakes that have taken place in the property tax notices,” officials said.
The officials also defended the increase in property tax to be paid by slum dwellers.
“The property tax of slum dwellers has increased around Rs800 to Rs1,200 as against what they were paying earlier. The civic body provides various facilities such as water, roads, street-lights, drainage, and other basic facilities in slums.