‘Civic taxes in city’s tribal areas illegal’

SHILLONG: The National People’s Party, Shillong city, has accused the state government of illegally collecting and raising taxes in municipal areas by using the Meghalaya Municipal Act, 1973.
Talking to media persons here on Monday, the NPP unit’s spokesperson, Erwin K Syiem Sutnga, alleged that imposition of holding tax by the Shillong Municipal Board on tribal areas of the city — like Pynthorumkhrah, East Shillong, North Shillong, West Shillong, South Shillong, Nongthymmai and parts of Nongkrem — is “totally illegal”.
“The land belongs to tribal people and so the holding tax cannot be imposed and it has to be abolished,” he said while claiming that the Shillong Municipal Board can only charge for sanitary services, water and street lights.
According to Sutnga, people are also affected by the rising taxes and termed the hike as illegal.
He further added that the elections to the Municipal Board have not been conducted for a long time.
“In this regard, the Meghalaya Government has inappropriately amended the Meghalaya Municipal Act, 1973, to allow raising of taxes,” Sutnga said.
He also slammed Chief Minister Mukul Sangma by saying that the state government “is bankrupt in ideas” and that the civic board can get sufficient funds from the Centre, especially under the Swachh Bharat Mission.

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