Thursday, October 27, 2011

Lok Satta warns of united movement against property tax hike

The Lok Satta Party is planning to launch a united, non-partisan movement against arbitrary increase in property tax in municipalities.

In-charges of Lok Satta municipal committees, who met at the party headquarters here today with party Working President D. V. V. S. Varma in the chair, felt that the tax increase ranging from 500 to 1000 percent without any improvement in citizen services contravenes the Government’s own Assessement of Taxes Rules, 1990.

Participants pointed out that special officers, now ruling civic bodies in the absence of elected representatives, raised the tax capriciously. They cited an instance in which the tax on an apartment was raised from Rs.3000 to Rs.80000.

Giving this information in a media statement, party leaders Katari Srinivasa Rao and K. Omkar said that a Lok Satta Party team would visit municipal towns and cities in the first week of November to mobilize the public for an agitation. It would associate local chambers of commerce, ratepayers’ associations, resident welfare associations and other civic society representatives with the planned movement.

The party demands that the civic bodies improve their services in tune with the citizen’s charter and fix the property tax on a rational basis.

The Lok Satta Party would call for a ‘no-tax campaign’ if the authorities went ahead with the hike in the property tax without improving services concerning drinking water, sanitation, education, healthcare and roads. If the services are not commensurate with the tax paid, people can legitimately refuse to pay the tax, said Mr. Katari Srinivasa Rao.

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