Hsg federation opposes property tax penalties levied by PMC | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times
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Hsg federation opposes property tax penalties levied by PMC

Jun 01, 2024 06:38 AM IST

Battle between Kharghar residents and Panvel Municipal Corporation over property tax continues as residents demand revised bills without penalties following SC order.

PANVEL: The battle between a section of citizens and the Panvel Municipal Corporation (PMC) on property tax is not going to end anytime soon, as the Kharghar Co-op Housing Societies Federation Ltd has accused the civic body of intentionally sending property tax bills with penalties levied for 3 years, which they claim is in contradiction with the Supreme Court interim order of May 17.

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HT Image

The federation welcomed the SC order stating that it would ask the residents to pay the property tax dues and demanded that the civic body issue revised bills as per its order. The federation was pleased that the SC had not asked payments to be made from 2016 onwards, for which PMC had issued the bills with retrospective effect in 2021.

PMC on the other hand declared that the SC had not yet given a final order on the demand from 2016. It has confirmed that it will send revised bills from 2021 onwards to the property owners, which it has done now.

PMC has identified 3.5 lakh properties, 77,000 property owners have cleared their dues leaving 2.80 lakh defaulters with 750 crore due to the civic body.

The federation has however objected to the composition of the revised bills and declared non-cooperation, threatening contempt of court notice.

Commander (Retd) SH Kalawat, general secretary of the federation, said, “Penalties levied for 3 years by PMC in the revised bills are in contradiction with SC order and intentional. The court has only now ordered its payment and we even agreed to pay it. We have never opposed the tax but only asked for time for the procedure in the Maharashtra Municipal Corporation Act to be followed.”

The delay payment charges now constitute 30-40% of the revised bill dues and total around 225 cr which is equal to the annual property tax due, he said.

He also added, “We have written to PMC to issue bills without the penalties and only then shall we pay. In case they don’t do so, our lawyers will send them a contempt of court notice for not following the court order. We have appealed to the residents not to pay the dues until the revised bills without the penalty are issued by PMC.”

Rejecting the demand, municipal commissioner Dr Prashant Rasal said, “The SC has not said that we cannot charge the delay penalty. It has been levied as the dues were not paid on time. Those opposed should understand that the funds are required by the civic body for the development of the city which is at a crucial stage. Why should we have to depend on the government and other sources?”

He added, “We have prepared revised bills on war footing. While the printing and distribution of the physical bills is in process, we uploaded them on the civic website and the mobile app on May 26. This will enable the citizens to pay them at the earliest as the dues from 2021 have to be paid by June 29 as per the interim order.”

“The revised bills give clear details of the arrears due from October 1, 2016 to 2021 in part A, from 2021 to 2024 in part B and the 2024-25 due in part C. Payments of part A dues will be subject to the interim order of the SC.

“The delay payment charges will be due subject to calculations following the final SC order. Since the bills have had to be revised, for the present bills raised for 2024-25 the incentive of 5% for payment till May 31 has been extended to June 30. There is also an advantage of a 2% waiver for online payments.”

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