It is illegal to buy and sell flats by their built-up area, but the civic body’s new property tax system, approved on Thursday, considers your flat’s built-up and not carpet area for calculating your tax. So it’s not just the space inside your flat that determines the tax, you are charged for your stilt parking, the building basement, service floor, entrance lobby, the air-conditioning unit room and the security cabin, among other things.
That’s not all. Just as the builders charge you floor rise, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation too expects you to pay more the higher you go.
You should also brace yourself for huge tax bills from August when the next bill will be sent, as the new capital value-based property tax rates are in effect retrospectively from April 1, 2010.
Societies will have to pay the bill in seven months’ time, by March 31, 2013, or face punitive action.
Activists have criticised the new property tax system.
“How can the BMC charge us on built-up and super built-up basis when they discourage builders from doing so?” asked Rajkumar Sharma, AGNI activist.
“It’s unethical for the BMC to charge people from 2010, when its own inefficiency has delayed the implementation to 2012.”
A civic official, on condition of anonymity, said the BMC had no option but to consider the built-up area as the state’s Ready Reckoner gives rates of properties based on built-up area.
“In that case, the state should make changes in the Ready Reckoner,” he said.
Rahul Shewale, chairman of the civic standing committee which approved the new system, said: “We will consult citizens again, in case the new system pinches their pockets too much.”