The civic body had revived the settlement advisory board (SAB) in December last year to expedite property tax related disputes, but in the last eight months, it has failed to create the right noise.
The board has revived only 40 cases for out of court settlement. This helped the board de-freeze revenue amounting to Rs4 crore.
The three-member board was earlier in operation from April 2006 till November 2008, and had managed to generate revenue amounting to Rs364 crore for the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) coffers.
This body was revived in December and out of 2,500 pending cases, only 40 litigants were sent letters asking them to consider the option of settling the matter out of court. The civic body has revived one board each for the island city, western and eastern suburbs. According to the data with the BMCs’ assessor and collector department, these 40 cases together generated Rs2 crore for the civic body.
Property tax is the second highest revenue earner after octroi for the BMC; the outstanding property tax for the year 2010-2011 is Rs10,444 crore and the amount collected was Rs2,814 crore. Of the 396 cases since 2006 where the litigant agreed to an out of court settlement, 256 cases were settled.
“Before sending final bills in the new capital value system, we want as many dispute cases to be resolved,” said a senior civic official. Officials from the department said only cases pertaining to complaints with the ratable value system would be heard by this board, presided by retired judges.
The board hears disputes on outstanding dues, miscalculation of property tax, attempting to make the litigant and the civic body agree on a settlement amount. About two-thirds of the total payable property tax remains outstanding due to disputes over the assessment. Officials said if dissatisfied by the board’s decision they can go back to the courts and fight it out.