Hyderabad RWAs allege govt reneged on promise of 50% tax waiver for property owners

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Hyderabad RWAs allege govt reneged on promise of 50% tax waiver for property owners

Several Resident Welfare Associations (RWAs) in Hyderabad have claimed that the 50% waiver on property tax for residential/domestic property owners that was announced in November 2020 by the Telangana government has not come into effect.

A number of property owners were in for a surprise when they had to pay the full tax for the Financial Year 2020-21. Even though the state government had announced in November 2020 that all domestic households who have to pay property tax of up to Rs 15,000, within GHMC limits, were eligible for a 50% reduction.

The state government had said that the tax relief was a Deepavali gift to people to tide over the economic fallout due to the COVID-19 related lockdown. Further adding that in the event of a taxpayer already paying 100% property tax, the rebate would be adjusted.

BT Srinivasan, General Secretary, United Federation of Residents Welfare Association (UFERWAS), said several property owners who had already paid the tax in full in November 2020 feel cheated. "We were promised in November that if we pay the full tax, the 50% waiver will be adjusted in the next Financial Year but this has not been adjusted till date," he said. The last date for paying property tax has been extended to June 16. "Several people have already paid the tax for the FY 2020-21 in full. We approached the property tax wing of the GHMC with our concern, it appears they haven't done their homework. We have been given verbal assurance that revised rates will reflect from April 6 onwards," he added.

As many as 13.7 lakh families were expected to benefit in Hyderabad, burdening the state government by Rs 196.4 crore. The Municipal Administration and Urban Development (MAUD) Minister KT Rama Rao had at the time of the announcement said the tax waiver was a Deepavali gift as an economic relief to the people.

The tax waiver was also expected to be rolled out across 140 towns benefitting 17.6 lakh families costing Rs 130 crore to the state. The Telangana government had estimated that 31.4 lakh families would benefit from the property tax relief, at a cost of Rs 326.4 crore to the state.

Municipal Administration officials and officials with the GHMC were unavailable for comment.

Up until March 25, the GHMC had collected Rs 1,503.13 crore for the fiscal year 2020-21 as property tax and has set a target of Rs 1,900 crore.