Monday, March 26, 2018

No water connection No water tax

A civic body cannot collect water tax, if there is no water connection given to the household, a court in Vadodara said so and asked the Vadodara Municipal Corporation (VMC) to deduct the amount of water tax from the property bills in such cases.

The issue involved residents of 36 flats constructed in Giriraj Co-operative Housing Society near Chhani Jakat Naka in Vadodara. 
Its secretary, Viralkumar Shah, had approached the Vadodara District Consumer Dispute Redressal Forum in 2011 raising objection to VMC collecting water tax from all 36 flat owners, when they did not have water connection in name of individual flat owners. They objected to a notice issued by VMC asking for the tax without water connection.

Before the consumer court, residents submitted that the flats had six water connections and tax was regularly paid to VMC for the same.

VMC told the court that it is entitled to collect all types of taxes from properties falling under the municipal limits. Water tax is a component of property tax only and hence it is entitled to collect water tax too.

When VMC was questioned about taxing people without providing them services, it conceded that those residents who did not have water connection were entitled for rebate.

The court concluded that water tax and property tax are different. VMC provides services to citizens and charges tax for the same, hence it is a consumer-service provider relationship.

Issuing notice to residents without water connection was deficiency in service, and VMC should deduct water tax amount from the concerned property tax bills, the court ordered.

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