The meeting between the representatives of some of the financial institutions from Curchorem and Curchorem-Cacora Municipal Council (CCMC) was held on Tuesday to resolve the property tax issue. Few institutions attended the meeting while those who had filed the petition in the High Court did not attend saying that the issue is sub-judice. CCMC Chairperson Vishwas Pandu Sawant, councillors Balkrishna (Pinty) Hodarkar, Piedade Fernandes were also in attendance at the meeting.
After discussing the issue, the council took a decision to grant the opportunity to defaulters to pay their dues at the earliest failing which the council will initiate action against them. It also decided to issue a single receipt showing property tax and house tax separately.
Speaking to media after the meeting, Chief Officer Agnelo Fernandes informed that the council had issued notices to the owners of the premises who rented their premises to house 33 financial institutions which come under the jurisdiction of the CCMC, asking them to pay the long pending dues on property tax. “Few owners paid their taxes while others filed a petition in the Bombay High Court with their grievances stating that the council had no right to collect the property tax,” stated Fernandes.
He further informed that the High Court passed an order on August 12 last year, asking both petitioners and respondent (CCMC) to maintain a status quo subject to depositing the tax of the financial year 2013-14 in the High Court within a period of two weeks.
“Subsequently, the High Court passed another order on January 14 saying that the interim order passed earlier shall continue with the liberty to the respondent (CCMC) to apply subsequent demand in terms of the impugned resolution contentious of both the parties on merits are left open including the contention of the respondent that the petition is not maintainable,” informed Fernandes further.
It may be recalled that the auditors found that CCMC is not collecting any property tax from the financial institutions under their jurisdiction under the Municipality Act 110 and based on their findings, the council took a resolution and issued notices to all the financial institutions to pay their dues of property tax.