RAWALPINDI, Oct 2: Rawalpindi Cantonment Board (RCB) has managed to collect Rs120 million against taxes on residential and commercial properties, during the first quarter of the fiscal 2012-13.
A senior official of the RCB told Dawn that the civic body had set the target of Rs400 million from property taxes for the fiscal year 2012-13. He said that the civic body provided 15 per cent concession for those who submitted their tax returns till September 30.
He said that mostly domestic unit owners managed to get the maximum benefit from this move by the civic body.
He said that the property tax recovery was gradually improving in cantonment areas as the RCB managed to collect Rs120 million during the first quarter of the fiscal 2012-13 as compared with last year when the civic body collected Rs90 million during the same period.
However, the officials in tax branch of the civic body said that the RCB planned to increase the property tax from next quarter of the fiscal year because it distributed provisional property tax bills at the old rates for 2012-13 to commercial and residential owners.
They said that the increased property tax for 2012-13 will be implemented after getting a nod from the RCB’s parent department Military Land and Cantonments and the residents of cantonment will have to pay the dues from July 2012 in next tax bills if they have already submitted their taxes for the fiscal 2012-13.
They said that the property tax was the main source of income for the civic body but it failed to achieve the targets in the past years because of its inability to inform the residents about the concessions it announced from time to time due to the old data and shortage of staff.
There are a total of 65,000 residential and 20,000 commercial units in the cantonment list of property taxpayers but the number has not increased for the last five years.
When contacted, RCB Cantonment Executive Officer Rana Manzoor Ahmed Khan said that the property tax bills had been sent to the people through courier services so that they could manage to deposit it on time and avail the concession 15 per cent.
He said the civic body would also provide 10 per cent concession to those who would deposit their taxes till June 30, 2013.
“The people who already submitted their taxes on old rates will pay the tax dues from July 2012 to June 2013 according to new rates if the new rates approved from the Military Lands and Cantonments,” he said.
According to the cantonment laws, he said, the civic body will increase the property tax after three years. He said that the property tax was increased in the last year but after the resentment from the political circles, the government directed to withdraw it.