The Municipal Corporation of Dehradun (MCD) has started collecting commercial property tax from private schools and hospitals to enhance its revenues but political parties continue to pay paltry amount in property tax for their offices in Dehradun. Now, the Dehradun mayor Sunil Uniyal ‘Gama’ has said that political parties are serving the public so henceforth no property tax or any service charge will be taken from any party. Also, the necessary help for sanitation will be provided for such offices if sought.
Gama said, “As the political parties are entitled to serve the public of the state we will not take any sort of tax or service charges for the political party offices situated in the city. Also, necessary help regarding sanitation will be provided to every political party office if it is sought from us.”
It is important to mention here that one of the biggest sources of income to the MCD is the property tax collection and the target this year has been raised to Rs 75 crore. The private schools and hospitals have also been added to the list of property tax payers for the first time in the city. This decision is expected to bring in about Rs 20 crore to the MCD collection for which strict directions have been issued by the mayor.
It is pertinent to mention here that in the past, the Bharatiya Janata Party was issued notice by the MCD in 2015 for information and self-assessment regarding property tax. Same was the case with the Congress office on Rajpur Road and the Uttarakhand Kranti Dal (UKD) office property which is under dispute.
The rents paid by the political parties offices to the MCD are also very low. The annual rent paid for the BJP Mahanagar office near Parade Ground is Rs 500. The rent for Samajwadi Party office inside the Parade Ground is Rs 250 per month which amounts to Rs 3000 per year. Similarly, the rent for Bahujan Samaj Party office is Rs 192 per month which amounts to Rs 2304 per year which is still pending in MCD. After the announcement by the mayor, all the political parties will not have to pay even this paltry amount for office in prime locations.