Citizens plan protest meets against high property tax

Various citizens’ groups, activists and associations across Mumbai are planning protest gatherings and meetings with senior corporators and civic officials against the implementation of the new capital value-based property tax system, which got the civic standing committee’s go-ahead on May 10.

Citizens want the civic body to reconsider the tax system, which they believe will lead to high property tax bills.

Many citizens’ groups said they had opposed the policy even in the initial stages. In November 2010, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation had got suggestions and objections from 215 groups, including many residents’ associations.

However, the three-member committee formed by the BMC, consisting of retired bureaucrat DN Chaudhary, former Chief secretary DM Sukhtankar and architect Roshan Nanavati, rejected their objections and suggestions in their recommendations which were presented to the civic standing committee.

Rajkumar Sharma, AGNI activist, who is spearheading the protests, said: “We are planning to show our discontent by holding public meetings. We are also spreading awareness among residents and activists of the draconian measures this new system is attempting to put in place.”

Bandra-based activist Anandini Thakoor, chairperson of the H-west ward federation, said: “We are trying to reach out to group leaders of all political parties in the BMC and invite them to our public meeting. Our purpose is to make them understand the ill-effects of this new system.”

Shopkeepers and office owners too are planning similar protests over the high tax rates for offices and banks. Rajendra Mehta, chairman of the Property Lessors Association, said:  “The tax rates for offices and banks are ridiculously high. Such high rates will kill commercial development in Mumbai,” he said.

“We are planning to approach new BMC chief Sitaram Kunte and apprise him of the repercussions such high rates will have for the city,” he added.


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