Private schools in Assam are attempting to evade paying property taxes to the government despite doing a roaring business.
For years, the majority of the state’s private schools have failed to pay their property taxes to the government. It has forced the GMC (Guwahati Municipal Corporation) to issue notices to roughly 300 private schools that have not paid their property taxes.
Commissioner Debashish Sarma of the GMC told The Sentinel, “We looked over the papers from Guwahati’s private schools. They have been found to have been delinquent in their property tax payments to the GMC for several years. Around 300 private schools have received notifications. The procedure will be followed. The GMC owes over Rs 7 crore in property tax to private schools in the metropolitan.”
More private schools will receive notifications from the corporation
According to GMC commissioner Devasish Sharma, the total tax evaded is likely to be over Rs 7 crore. “We served notices on the institutions and given them a 30-day deadline to react,” he said.
Private schools are required to pay property taxes to the city government under the GMC Act. No one from the GMC has ever mentioned this concern over the years. Around 1,000 private schools of various sizes exist in Guwahati. Property tax defaults have also been reported at large schools.
He claimed that a few elite institutions owe between Rs 50 lakh and Rs 1 crore in debt. “However, one of Guwahati’s most prestigious private schools, which owed the city Rs. 50 lakh, swiftly responded to the notice. It has also paid half of the debts and stated that the remaining balance will be paid in instalments, which is acceptable by us.”
The purpose of serving notifications, according to the commissioner, is not to take immediate action against the authorities. “We’re attempting to persuade them of the importance of paying property taxes on time. If they do not answer or pay the taxes within the specified time frame, we will issue more notices “he stated.
The city government earns very little money, which makes it difficult to carry out development projects. After the lockdown was lifted late last year, the commissioner said the body is now earning roughly Rs 10-crore each month.
Sharma went on to say that many businesses in the city are dodging property taxes. People should pay property taxes and contribute to development, he said.