The civic body which has started sending out property tax bills to 2.7lakh properties across the city, has set a March 31 deadline for citizens to pay up by. The bills have been calculated taking into account arrears from April 2010.
In addition to residential properties, a majority of the city’s offices and bank properties will have to pay more property tax.
An internal analysis done by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has revealed that 96% of the offices, occupied by owners, in the island city will have to pay more tax as compared to tax they paid under the old system.
Offices elsewhere in the city don’t fare better, with 77% of the office properties having to shell out more tax, according to the study. Banks don’t have a happy new year ahead for them either.
The study has revealed that offices and banks, occupied by owners, will be the worst-hit under the new system. Many associations, attached to these sectors, have been opposing the new system on grounds that it will make it very unfeasible for these sectors to have big spaces in the city.
Of the 92,000 office units across the city, nearly 80,000 units will have to pay tax higher than what they were in the old system. Similarly, more than half the bank properties in the city, 55% of the total 5,857 units in the city, will have to pay more property tax in the new system, as compared to the tax they paid under the old rateable value property tax system.
Civic officials have been propagating the benefits of the new system, calling it a more rational and fair method of devising tax on property. “Most offices and bank properties in the island city were paying a pittance as property tax all these years, because of their frozen rents. Hence, even if they pay more than what they did, it will not be a substantial difference.”
Rajendra Mehta, chairman of the property lessors association, one of the associations who had spearheaded protests against the new system, said they would wait for the bills to come and decide the next course of action accordingly.