Orissa HC Annuls BMC’s Holding Tax Hike Notification; Relief for Capital City Dwellers

Cuttack: Orissa High Court on Thursday quashed the notification of the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) to collect revised and hiked holding tax. This came as a relief for the city dwellers.

The BMC in 2011 had issued a notification to collect holding tax at the revised and hiked rate. The new holding tax was 10 times that of the old tax. One had to pay holding tax even for vacant plots.

The Bhubaneswar Confederation of Citizens Association had approached Orissa High Court, seeking intervention. Hearing the petition, Orissa HC canceled the notification and sent the same to the BMC for reconsideration. But the then BMC commissioner, Prem Chand Choudhary had allegedly sidelined the Orissa HC order to implement the new holding tax notification as it was. The revised tax was also collected from some Bhubaneswar residents.

The Bhubaneswar Confederation of Citizens Association again sought the intervention of the High Court in this regard. The petitioners had contended that the old Municipality Act has been abolished with the introduction of the new Act and the hiked holding tax was levied as per the old Act.  The HC had issued a stay order on the implementation of the holding tax notification of the BMC.

After hearing the case, the HC on Thursday preferred to nullify the BMC holding tax notification.


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