Thursday 23 Mar 2023

Taxing times for Mapusa residents, tax on dogs too



The residents of Mapusa will have to dig deep into their pockets as the municipal council has suggested a hike in taxes and fees for various services including a proposal to increase house tax by a whopping 110 percent from the new financial year.

And there is also a proposal to fix a dog tax with the owner having to cough up Rs 500 for every dog.

The civic body has also decided to hike fees to obtain a No-Objection Certificate (NOC) for water and electricity connection by a huge 400 percent.

Plan to increase fee/tax under various other heads including trade licence, house repair licence, transfer fees etc has also been proposed.

Interestingly, construction licence fee for commercial projects has been hiked by only 80 percent from 1.5 percent to 2.5 percent.

The additional funds mopped up through increase in tax/fee will go to pay salaries of the municipality staff and to carry out development work.

“It is proposed to adopt new rates since the council is in need of huge revenue for the management of the garbage, salary of the staff and other developmental works,” said Chief Officer Amitesh Shirvoikar, in a note circulated among the councillors.

The note also states that the rates fixed on various taxes and fees were very less compared to other municipalities of the same class in the State.

Residents of Mapusa expressed shock at the civic body’s plan to burden the common man by increasing the taxes.

RTI activist Jawaharlal Shetye said that the municipal council was only waiting for excuses to increase taxes. He said Mapusa municipality is the richest in the State.

He said the municipality unnecessarily hires extra temporary staff and pays them a salary for doing hardly any work.

“Recently, they have hired an advocate for a salary of Rs 30,000 per month. In the past, they had to withdraw the services of two advocates after I sought information on staff recruitment through RTI,” Shetye said. “Secondly, they have no control on the staff,” he added.

He also said that his petition in the High Court on illegal transfer of shops/stalls will fetch a bounty to the municipality and therefore there was no need to increase taxes.

“Once the HC petition is decided, many shops will be open for auction which will fetch more funds to the municipality. Instead of increasing, they should reduce the tax,” said Shetye, who is a resident of Khorlim, Mapusa.

The Mapusa Municipal Council will discuss and decide on the enhanced taxes, fees, rents and fines at a special meeting called on Monday.

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