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HindustanTimes Wed,17 Sep 2014

BMC tries to clear tax chaos

Poorvi Kulkarni, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, April 12, 2013
First Published: 01:55 IST(12/4/2013) | Last Updated: 01:57 IST(12/4/2013)

Seeking to clear the air on the new property tax system and make the rules clearer to citizens, the civic body has formulated fresh guidelines for fixing the capital value of lands and buildings. The tax is computed on this capital value.

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The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation released a 23-point circular with the guidelines earlier this month and sent  it to all the ward offices.

The new property tax system calculates the tax you pay based on a complex formula that takes various factors into account — including the age of the building, the floor you reside on and ready reckoner rate of the area. Since its implementation three months ago, it has met with much opposition from residents owing to the rise in taxes. Citizens have also complained of errors in their bills.

The guidelines seek to address these issues. They clarify how the weightage should be fixed for buildings with multiple ages — where new floors have been added to the existing structure at a later stage,for commercial buildings with multiple user categories — a mall which also contains a restaurant, gym etc. 

“Until now, there was no clarity on these grey areas. They were subject to interpretation by officials,” said a civic official.

Additional municipal commissioner, Rajiv Jalota, said: “These guidelines have been framed to clear many doubts in the bills calculated under the new system and also help us in finalise new assessments”.

Activists, however, have slammed these guidelines saying they will cause the tax to rise.“The BMC has used its discretion and designed the guidelines in a way that the BMC’s revenue would increase at the cost of the citizens,” said Rajkumar Sharma, a Chembur-based activist.

Grant Road resident SN Shroff welcomed the move. “Though the guidelines have come late and don’t address crucial issues, they will help tackle complaints.”


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