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HindustanTimes Sun,20 Apr 2014

BMC yet to frame guidelines for new property tax system

Poorvi Kulkarni, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, February 08, 2013
First Published: 01:50 IST(8/2/2013) | Last Updated: 01:51 IST(8/2/2013)

A month after the property tax bills are being calculated using the new capital value-based system, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is yet to frame guidelines to decide on weightages — one of the crucial parameters for calculation of the tax — for buildings with multiple-age and construction types.

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A weightage is the capital value of a building fixed by the civic body based on several factors such as age.

In the absence of the value, there is no clarity on the tax to be charged for buildings where additional constructions have been carried out after it was built.

Citizens have alleged that they have been receiving inflated bills in the absence of proper guidelines. “The building where I live is more than 80 years old.

But, the special notice that I have received states that it is 35 years old. When I approached civic officials, they told me that this is because two floors were added to the structure 35 years ago,” said SN Shroff, a resident of Charni Road.

“Also, the original construction type was non-RCC. After the additional work, we had to add RCC columns thus changing its construction type,” he said.

New constructions and RCC building have to pay higher property tax. “There are at least 5,000 such buildings in the city. The civic body has clearly failed to anticipate that the absence of guidelines could lead to such serious blunders in its calculation. In several cases, it has clubbed the entire building under one common age factor, instead of applying different age factors,” said Utsal Karani, secretary, Janhit Manch, which has been working towards resolving property tax issues.

Civic officials admitted that the guidelines for such structures are yet to be decided.

“We need to finalise the guidelines to fix weightages for buildings with multiple-age and multiple-construction types. Currently, it is open to interpretation. A uniform policy will be framed soon,” said an official from the BMC’s assessment and collection department.

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