While the civic body mulls over imposing new taxes on Mumbaiites, three of your existing taxes — water, sewerage and property — are certain to rise from this year.
Apart from the proposed 8% hike in water charges and an up to 40% hike in property tax to be applicable from this June and April respectively, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has also increased your sewerage charges by 20%.
The hike in sewerage charges was presented in the civic budget for the 2015-16 fiscal by municipal commissioner Sitaram Kunte on Wednesday.
Currently, residents pay 60% of their water bill as sewerage charges. The budget has proposed to increase the amount to 80%.
“I will like to emphasise that revision of water and sewerage charges is inevitable to meet the cost of the water supply/sewerage projects planned,” said Kunte in his budget speech. Your water bill is, therefore, likely to increase by 20% from April and a total of 28% from June, after the 8% hike in water charges.
This means if an average middle-class family of four is presently paying Rs165.8 a month for water, it will end up paying Rs198.72 as their monthly water bill from June.
“As the budget accounts for the estimated revenue to be collected from the beginning of the financial year from April, we have proposed to hike sewerage charges by 20% from April 1. But this will be subject to approval from the standing committee,” said a senior civic official.
Civic officials said the water and sewerage charges in the city were highly subsidised and a cumulative rise is necessary.
According to civic data, the BMC incurs an expenditure of around Rs8 for every thousand litres it sources, treats and distributes to the city, while levying a nominal charge of Rs4.32 on residents for the same quantity. This means that every non-slum Mumbai household pays only 51% of the production cost of water.
Moreover, the BMC is also in the process of revising the rules for fixing of capital value of lands and buildings. The rates on your capital value-based property tax are thus likely to be increased by up to 40% from April, after an approval is obtained from the civic standing committee.
The BMC is also studying the possibility of levying four new taxes – transport cess, conservancy cess, fire cess and property tax on slums.