iconimg Sunday, August 30, 2015

Poorvi Kulkarni, Hindustan Times
Mumbai, February 11, 2013
Following widespread demands by citizens, the civic body has now taken steps to make the new capital value-based property tax system more transparent.
To begin with, the Stamp duty Ready Reckoner (SDRR) rates, which form the base value of your property, have now been displayed on the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) official website.

The base value of your property along with other factors such as the age of your building, the floor you live on, the built-up area of the building and so on are taken into account while calculating the capital value of your property, and in turn, your property tax under the new system.

 “This [displaying the rates online] will help citizens verify the base value of their properties. They can send in objections if there are any errors,” said a senior official from the civic assessment and collection department, requesting anonymity.

This move will now help citizens to verify weightage attached to all the physical attributes of their properties.

A separate link has also been created on the website’s homepage so that citizens can easily locate the information on the new tax system. Citizen activists had demanded clarity on it after the BMC had started sending out bills in the last week of December.

“We welcome the move. But they also need to explain which rates of taxation are applicable to different kinds of properties and how,” said Utsal Karani, secretary of Janhit Manch, a not-for-profit.

The BMC had previously clarified that the 21-day deadline to send in objections would not hold for factual errors that detail the physical attributes of property.

However, south Mumbai residents, who are likely to be among the worst-affected by the new scheme, have raised concerns over the impact of the system in the long run, when tax rates are revised in 2015.

“Taxes have doubled for some residents. With the rates set for revision in the next two years and subsequently in 2020, it will be difficult to live in Mumbai,” said advocate Vimal Punmiya, a panelist at a public meeting organised by the South Mumbai Residents’ Association on Sunday.