The fate of a long-impending battle of over 10,000 families from suburban Mumbai over the unprecedented hike of non-agricultural (NA) tax with the government is likely to be sealed in the state Cabinet meeting on Wednesday.
According to sources, the state revenue department has proposed withdrawal of the hike for residential buildings altogether.
Under the Maharashtra Land Revenue Code 1966, the NA tax is imposed in the areas earlier marked as agricultural outside gaothans, where there is non-agricultural activity, and is levied over and above the property tax. This tax was negligible until February 2008, but the state government through a notification in 2009 decided to link it with the ready reckoner rate, which is decided by the government as per the market value.
So, the bills received in 2009 were largely inflated.
The residents staying along the 137 gaothans of Bandra, Andheri, up to Dahisar, had seen as much as a 300 per cent hike in the NA tax in 2009.
Those who used to pay Rs 500 till last year had been sent notices asking them to pay Rs 20,000, as per the ready reckoner rate.
Cornel Gonsalves, general secretary of Bandra’s Salsette Co-op Housing Society, consisting of almost 272 plots owned mostly by East-Indians, the original inhabitants on Mumbai, said, “We were the first to raise the issue when we got the bills in January 2009, some were even 2,000 per cent more. We are already paying so many taxes and a tax from the British times should be abolished. All we want now is the tax to be withdrawn.”