The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is pulling out all stops to ensure major political parties agree to implement the proposed capital value property tax system.
Apart from submitting the revised proposal with lower taxation rates, senior civic officials are also planning to approach senior leaders in both the Shiv Sena and Congress to ensure they do not make the new system an election issue and jeopardise its approval.
The latest move by the administration stems from the ruling Sena-BJP’s apprehensions about approving the system.
A civic official, not wishing to be named, said, “The Shiv Sena somewhat approves the revised proposal with lower rates. But, as they fear the Congress might boycott it and make it an election issue, we have decided to speak to the Congress and enlist its support as well.” Civic sources told HT that senior civic officials are trying to broker a deal which will ensure that no party makes this as an election issue to beat the other with.
Rahul Shewale, standing committee chairman, said, “It’s the Congress-led government, both at the Centre and the state that has imposed the capital value property tax system on the BMC, which has no choice but to implement it. So, the Congress cannot reject the proposal for political reasons.”
There are a number of reasons behind the civic body’s desperation to get the new proposal approved. The first is that if the standing committee does not approve the proposal, the BMC stares at the dark prospect of not collecting any property tax the next year.
The civic body is currently sending out provisional bills, based on the old rateable value system. They can be keep doing so only till March 2012, which is the deadline for implementing the new system. In case it wants an extension, the amendment to the act will have to go to the governor, through the legislature.
Also, as it continues to send provisional bills based on the old system, the civic body is facing losses. With property tax collections being the second largest money-spinner for the BMC, loss in income does not augur well.