“Pay property tax or else..”: Guwahati Municipal Corporation issues ultimatum to defaulters
Mayor Mrigen Sarania and other members of GMC attending a press meet

Guwahati: The refusal of one lakh sixty five thousand (1.65 lakh) registered households in Guwahati to pay their fair share of property taxes in the last fiscal year has prompted the the cash-strapped Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) to step up its bid against evaders with a new initiative to integrate property tax with electricity consumer numbers.

The GMC says that going forward, property owners will have to link their holding numbers with their Assam Power Distribution Corporation Limited (APDCL) consumer numbers.

Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Mayor Mrigen Sarania, issuing a warning to defaulters at the GMC’s Guwahati office on Friday, said that failure to pay taxes will result in the seizure of properties “as per options available under the law”.

According to Sarania, the municipal body has been forced to step up its bid to boost revenue as “only 85,000 out of the total 2,80,000 city dwellers with holding numbers paid their fair share of taxes this year”.

“Additionally, while 3.3 lakh households in the city have electricity consumer numbers, the number of those with property holding numbers is far far less,” Sarania pointed out.

At the same time, the municipal body has urged property owners who do not have holding numbers to get registered online at the earliest.

Property owners of Guwahati have until December 20 of 2022 to get their holding number, failing to decide which power will be cut from their homes.

“Even if these households pay their electricity bills, their line will be cut if they do not get their properties registered,” Pankaj Chakraborty, the Joint Commissioner of the GMC told EastMojo.

So, how does one get a GMC holding number?

Keeping with its resolve of “digitizing” its processes, the GMC has launched a website – www.gmcpropertytax.com – to streamline the process to enable users to link their properties with APDCL consumer numbers.

The website, which went live on October 1 of this year, also allows “self assessment” which will enable users to procure property holding numbers without the hassle of an office visit.

“To reduce clutter at the office and make things convenient for property owners, we have decided to go completely digital. Henceforth, everything, including the payment of taxes, will be done exclusively via the portal,” Sarania informed.

To incentivize defaulters to pay their fair share of taxes, the GMC has even decided to slash their property tax rates by as much as 50%.

Talking to EastMojo, a senior GMC official said: “We have seen that many people in the city are reluctant to pay their taxes. A vast number of property owners do not even have holding numbers. For owners who do have holding numbers, we have decided to slash the tax by 50% up for tax owed up until 2020-21 to incentivize them to pay. They have till January 1 to clear their dues. As for those who do not have holding numbers, we urge them to sign up at the earliest.”

To complete the process, one simply has to log in to the site, click on the relevant tabs, and fill in the required details. “If one has all the requisite information ready in hand, the process takes a mere 5-10 minutes to complete,” an official informed EastMojo.

To disseminate the information and raise awareness, the GMC from December 3 onwards will carry out extensive awareness drives in every ward of the city. Common Service Centres (CSCs) will be set up where city dwellers will be able to link their APDCL consumer numbers with holding numbers, self assess their properties to avail holding numbers, and clear off pending dues.

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