BMC won’t give property tax bill to 1.36L residents

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Published on Dec 28, 2019 01:08 AM IST
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ByEeshanpriya MS

Amid confusion over the state’s policy to waive property tax for homes admeasuring less than 500 square feet, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) will not issue property tax bills to 1.36 lakh homes in Mumbai this year, giving these residents temporary relief.

Ahead of the 2017 civic polls, the Shiv Sena had promised that homes measuring less than 500 sqft will be exempted from property tax. This was one of the conditions put forth by the Shiv Sena for its pre-poll alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) during the Lok Sabha elections. Following this, the former BJP-Sena led state government took a decision to the effect in March 2019, but the policy is yet to be announced.

The move will cost the BMC’s exchequer 335 crore, according to information presented by the civic administration before the standing committee on Friday. It comes at a time when the BMC has managed to recover only 1,800 crore from property tax, against its target of 5,000 crore for the financial year 2019-20. After octroi was cancelled following Goods and Services tax (GST), property tax has become the biggest source of revenue for the civic body.

The BMC has a total of 4.20 lakh property tax payers in the city, including 1.36 lakh homes admeasuring less than 500 square feet. The standing committee also passed a proposal to give early-bird discounts to 91,000 property tax-payers, whose homes are more than 500 sqft, on Friday. It is aimed at recovering dues worth 1358.79 crore. It will give 4% rebate for taxpayers clearing dues before January, and 2% for those clearing dues before February. The administration then explained that 1.36 lakh homes will not be served bills this financial year, which measure less than 500 sqft. Owners of the remaining 1.83 lakh homes (more than 500sqft) were served bills in May 2019, amounting to 4,137 crore.

However, BJP’s Prabhakar Shinde said, “How is BMC going to recover losses caused due to 1.36 lakh bills that will not be generated?”

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