Mumbaiites have not warmed up to the concept of settling property tax disputes outside the courts. The civic body’s settlement advisory board (SAB) setup for faster disposal of pending property tax disputes has found few takers.
The board has received responses from only 24 of the 2,500 litigants, whom the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation had approached to consider an out-of-court settlement.
The board was formed for the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to recover revenue worth crores from property tax because of disputes over the quantum.
The three-member board had brought Rs 364 crore to the BMC coffers when it had functioned from April 2006 to November 2008. During this period, the board had settled 256 of the 396 cases, where the litigant had agreed to try for an out-of-court settlement.
However, after its revival in December last year, the data available with the assessor and collector department of the BMC shows that only 24 cases are willing to consider an out-of-court settlement.
Off the 24 cases, which are all from the western suburbs, nine have been disposed of and they have generated revenue of Rs2 crore for the civic body.
The board, which is presided over by retired judges, hears disputes only on cases related to ratable value system that includes outstanding property tax dues and miscalculation of property tax.
The settlement advisory board seeks to make the litigant and the BMC agree on a settlement amount. If the litigant is not satisfied by the decision of the board, he or she can go back to the court.