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HindustanTimes Thu,24 Apr 2014

Property tax system: 15,000 complaints in last 22 days

Kunal Purohit, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, February 23, 2013
First Published: 02:20 IST(23/2/2013) | Last Updated: 02:21 IST(23/2/2013)

As the confusion over the new property tax system prevails, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has received more than 18,500 complaints from citizens who received their bills after January.

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After the introduction of the new capital value-based system in January, the civic body had sent out 2.70 lakh bills across the city. It had granted a 21-day window period for citizens to send in their complaints about errors or discrepancies in the bill. In the last 22 days alone, the BMC has received more than 15,000 complaints.

The civic body has, however, said that most complaints are not about the errors in the bills, but are citizens’ objections to the system.

Under the new system, the property tax of old buildings in the island city has gone up at several locations.

Of the 18,515 complaints received, 10,962 complaints are from the island city, 5,502 from the western suburbs while the remaining are from the eastern suburbs.

Rajiv Jalota, additional municipal commissioner, said, “Several responses are the objections raised by citizens over the rules of the new system. These cannot be addressed at this juncture.”

About the complaints received, Jalota said, “Most complaints about errors refer to minor issues which would be rectified soon, without the need to call the complainant for a hearing. But, some cases might need verification of structures. It could take more time to be resolved.”

Taking the possible delay into account, the BMC plans to extend the deadline for tax payments, especially for those residents who received their bills late.

Meanwhile, citizen groups plan to oppose the new system. The BMC plans to hold two public meetings to explain the new system. Jalota said that the BMC was doing its bit to ensure redressal.

“We plan to fast track the redressal of grievances with a new electronic system, which will scan and address the complaints in a time-bound manner,” he said.

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