The Legislative Council on Friday cleared a bill allowing the civic body to temporarily charge property tax on basis of the old rateable value till the structure for assessing on basis of the new capital-based system was ready.
It allowed the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to issue provisional bills to collect the tax.
Talking to Hindustan Times, a senior bureaucrat called it a temporary arrangement. “Since there are more than 3 lakh properties in the city, the exercise is taking a lot of time. Hence, we have allowed the payment on basis of provisional bills,” he said.
He said the state had also made provisions to ensure minimal confusion after the new capital value came to force. “If any citizen has paid excess money, it would be refunded within three months along with the interest. He would also be given a choice of adjustment in his next bill. Similarly, we would recover money from those whose capital value is more than the rateable one,” the official added.
The proposal was recently passed in the assembly and now even the council has given it a green signal.
In addition, the state has amended the BMC Act so that it can collect tax from those properties that had escaped assessment. The municipal commissioner can serve a notice and ask for the amount within 15 days.
However, housing activists are not amused. “There was no need to shift to the capital value in the first place,” said Vinod Sampat, a realty lawyer and activist.
Sampat rubbished the government’s claims that there would be refund saying that the whole system was designed just to grab maximum revenue from the citizens.