The coffers of the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) has been running dry as no revenue has yet reached the civic body’s treasury from advertisement taxes in the first quarter of this financial year since businesses took a hit due to Covid-19 lockdown while at the same time, revenues from property taxes too have seen a new low due to the same.
The KMC has been witnessing staggering losses in revenues ever since the Covid-19 lockdown came into effect, dealing a severe blow to businesses and resulting in loss of revenues from advertisement taxes. Sources in KMC told The Statesman that “not even one rupee” has been earned from advertisement taxes in the first quarter of financial year 2020-21.
In comparison, sources revealed that the revenue generated from advertisement taxes in the first quarter in the last financial year 2019-20, was approximately three to four crores and for the whole year it was around, 22 to 24 crores, approximately.
It was further learnt that certain business enterprises have also sent recommendations concerning revision of tax rates since businesses have taken a hit. The recommendations have been forwarded to the higher officials, it was learnt.
It may be noted that the civic body is already reeling under severe financial crunch as property taxes too have seen a new low. The KMC treasury has been running dry due to inadequate collection of property taxes, making it difficult for the civic body to make expenditures.
Mr Atin Ghosh, former deputy mayor and now member of the KMC board of administrators, recently said that the property tax collection in financial year 2020-21 from 1 April to 25 May is Rs 39 crores while in the financial 2019-20, during the same period, the tax collection was Rs 227 crores.
The Statesman had reported on 29 May that due to cyclone Amphan, many tax payers who went to KMC property tax collection centres such as in Baghajatin, Prince Anwar Shah Road, Gariahat, had to return without depositing their property taxes as officials at the collection centres claimed that the BSNL internet servers were down due to the impact of the cyclone.