VIJAYAWADA: The special council meeting of Vijayawada Municipal Corporation (VMC) held on Wednesday passed a resolution for implementing the proposed new taxation policy. The police have arrested Left party and TDP corporators for protesting against the proposed new taxation policy, ahead of special council meeting and were taken to Krishna Lanka and Governorpet police stations, to restore law and order. Condemning the resolution, CPM corporator B Satya Babu launched a hunger strike before the council hall.
During the meeting, TDP corporator K Swetha alleged that it is the Centre, which imposed tax based on the value of the property and enhanced garbage tax. Referring to the YSRC’s argument that implementation of GO 198 will get 15th Finance Commission funds, she said the new taxation policy is not being implemented in Gujarat, the PM’s home State. “I have worked with the Maharashtra Government for three years. The proposed new taxation policy was implemented by Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai, but it was a failure and only burdened house owners,” Swetha said.
Commenting on the spiralling fuel prices in the State, she alleged that YSRC government which made tall claims of reducing fuel prices has collecting Rs 19.20 as tax on three types of diesel—22.25 percent VAT, Rs 4 per each litre as additional tax and road cess of Rs 1 per litre—in the last two months. When it comes to petrol, it is 31 percent VAT, Rs 4 per litre as additional VAT and Rs 1 per each litre as road cess, the TDP leader explained.
Intervening, YSRC corporator B Punyaseela said that fuel prices are dependent on the crude oil prices and there is no role for the State government to play in increasing or decreasing the prices. She stressed on the need of implementing the GO 198 at making the ULBs financially independent.
Explaining how the new tax system based on capital value of the property instead of the existing annual rental value works, Punyaseela said, “Till now, three months’ rent was charged as property tax. Under the new system, the property tax would be 0.1 to 0.5 percent of the capital value for residential structures, and 0.2 percent to 2 percent for non-residential structures. We have mentioned that the new tax (hike) would be limited between 10 percent and 15 percent of the existing rate. This means would not be beyond 15 percent for residential category.” For residences under 375 sq feet of plinth area, Rs 50 would be levied as property tax, she added and made it clear that property rights will be given only if taxes are paid.