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With eye on polls, Sena, BJP to review tax system

mumbai Updated: Jul 05, 2013 02:59 IST
Kunal Purohit
Kunal Purohit
Hindustan Times
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With an eye on the upcoming state and general elections next year, the ruling Shiv Sena-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) alliance now wants to review the capital-value system of fixing your property tax.

Under the new system, various aspects of a property such as its floor, structure type and age have weightage associated with it. The weightage is then made part of a complex formula to calculate the capital value of the property, which is then used to arrive at the amount to be paid.

Sensing the discontent among citizen groups, the saffron alliance has announced the formation of a sub-committee of the standing committee, which will look at reviewing the method of calculating the capital value of a property. The sub-committee will look at citizens’ grievances, and is likely to take help from the three-member committee that was formed to look into public objections and suggestions on the system in 2010.

The three-member committee, comprising former chief secretary D Sukhtankar, retired bureaucrat DN Chaudhary and architect Roshan Nanavati had rejected most of the demands made by citizens and citizen groups over the tax structure.

“The sub-committee will take help of the three-member committee to decide the weightages that could be changed. Our focus is on weightages pertaining to floor-rise, banks and hotels,” said standing committee chairman Rahul Shewale.

While approving the system last year, the standing committee had maintained that the panel had the right to alter the system, in the face of grievances, he said.

BJP’s group leader Dilip Patel said, “Corporators have been in touch with citizens. Their feedback will be scrutinised by the committee. We want to expedite the formation and working of the committee.”

While the saffron alliance hasn’t chalked out any plan to invite public suggestions or objections, civic officials are viewing the move with suspicion. “There is no reason to tamper with the system just yet,” said an official.