Citizens who have objected to the new capital value-based property tax system will now get a two-month leeway and can pay as per the old rates up to March this year.
“Residents can visit the assessor and collector department at the local ward office, get an objection letter signed and pay tax at old rates till March 31,” said Rahul Shewale, chairman of the standing committee of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) during a residents meet at Chembur on Sunday.
In last the 22 days, the civic body received more than 18,500 complaints, objecting to the new taxation system by which property tax of the island city and other old buildings has gone up at several locations. With arrears due for the last three years, many residents are finding it difficult to pay the large amount.
However, the civic administration is yet to extend the property tax payment dateline by two months.
“At a time when the common man is already affected by rising inflation, the civic body should help citizens instead of burdening them with exorbitantly high property taxes,” said Rajkumar Sharma, president of the advanced locality management and networking action committee (ALMANAC).
More than 150 citizens from Chembur signed a letter protesting the new property tax rules and demanding more time to pay bills.
Residents of western suburbs too had come together on Saturday to protest against the system.
“The BMC did not to involve citizens, ALMs or NGOs before finalising new rules. We are not against paying the higher amount but we request them to be reasonable about the tax calculation system. It is not feasible for us to pay 100-200% more than the previous rates,” said TH Gupta, a Chembur resident.
However, Shewale defended the new system stating that it was more transparent and brought both suburban and city citizens at par.
He also announced an extension for citizens to submit objections. “Residents do not need to file objections only by 21 days. We will consider every complaint that reaches us,” said Shewale.
The civic body is also in the process of formulating a tax calculator, that will be uploaded on the BMC’s website to make the calculation easier.