Property tax revenue down, plaints up
The civic body’s revenue targets for the year have taken a hit with less than 50% of the amount it expected from property tax coming in, Kunal Purohit reports.mumbai Updated: Apr 03, 2013 01:09 IST
The civic body’s revenue targets for the year have taken a hit with less than 50% of the amount it expected from property tax coming in.
This comes after the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) received 40,422 objections from citizens and groups opposing provisions of the new capital value-based system.
While the civic body had raised a demand of nearly Rs. 4,200 crore through the property tax bills it had issued, it has only received Rs. 1,962.68 crore from citizens. While many are attributing this to the fact that the BMC decided to extend the deadline for payment to June 30, the rising number of objections also speaks of citizens’ continued opposition to the new system.
Hindustan Times has been consistently reporting on the issue. In its March 13 edition, HT had reported how the BMC had got 30,000 objections from citizens. After the report, the BMC got 10,000-odd more objections, with people protesting against the provisions as well as pointing out errors in the bills.
An official from the assessment and collection department said, “People had been reluctant to pay up ever since we introduced the new system. However, instead of encouraging people to pay, we made the tactical mistake of extending the deadline.”
The official added that had this not been done, the revenue collection till March 31 would have been higher. “We were looking at least Rs. 2,500 crore as revenue for the year.”
Activists, who have been critical of the new system, said the extension of the deadline was a “blunder’.
“Many citizens were ready to pay up, but the BMC announced the extension of the deadline and they developed cold feet. Most of those who haven’t paid still harbour hopes that the BMC will make changes to the system and lower their taxes,” said
Utsal Karani, secretary of Juhu Scheme residents association. Additional municipal commissioner Rajiv Jalota could not be reached for comments despite repeated attempts.