GHMC Decides to Collect Tax for Sign Boards

The Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) decided to collect advertisement tax under another section of the GHMC Act. The decision will affect nearly eight lakh businesses, along with petty and small traders. GHMC took this decision against the high court’s interim order to exempt shops and establishments that erect signboards on their buildings from collecting advertisement tax.

The corporation decided to collect tax with backlog under section 197 of the GHMC Act instead of section 421. New notices will be announced from next week.

All signboards, excluding wall writings, paintings and black and white boards, will fall under tax net for which notices will be delivered to traders.

Collection of advertisement tax from traders for using neon, glow sign and vinyl boards on their shops has been a contentious issue for the last one year. The GHMC is collecting advertisement tax on 2 feet x 2 feet or above sized boards. For shops having neon signboards, GHMC collects Rs 1,200 per square metre, while for vinyl boards it collects Rs 600 per sq metre.

The GHMC had given the job of collecting tax from shop keepers to a private agency, USM Business Systems. Till last year, the private agency paid a portion of sum amount to GHMC and used to collect tax from tax payers. Now, the collection agency would be paid a percentage of the total tax collected.