Friday, November 15, 2013

Chandigarh: minimal house tax but a scary self-assessment form

The news that "Estimate running into Rs 2 crore, but MC only manages to collect Rs 9 lakh as house tax in a month" is hardly surprising. But I think the interpretation that "City residents seem to be going slow when it comes to paying property tax on residential property" is way off the mark.

I have had the forms with me for a while. I finally decided that I will sit down and fill them as I was driving to the nearest Sampark center anyway and driving is no longer pleasant.

Filling the form was not as terrifying as it looked. Over half the form I left blank as the questions did not seem relevant. I was dreading being told that I had not filled the form correctly. After all, I loved the Ziggy cartoon which had a caption(from 40 year old memory): You are in a heap of trouble, mister. This transfer is for route number 11 and this bus is route 11A.

I was in the queue for 5 minutes. During which one other person paid the house tax. Another person asked to see my form that how had I filled it. Still another person wanted to know how to fill the form and the counter person sent him to the supervisor.

It bewilders me that
  • why did the bureaucrats use the same form for residential property as they do for commercial property.
  • why ask for more information than is needed. We need only give the address and the size of the plot.
  • why call it self-assessment form and make it sound as if any incorrect information on even the redundant fields might cause one to be prosecuted.
Oh, well, I won't have anything to blog about if they did not complicate our lives unnecessarily :)

Or may be they want to prove that house tax is not a viable option?

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