Mumbai: Two years since civic polls, zero property tax still a promise

Updated: Oct 10, 2019, 07:41 IST | Prajakta Kasale | Mumbai

The state government amended the Mumbai Municipal Corporation Act,1888 in March this as per a BMC proposal for the waiver. However, the government resolution only amended section 140 (C) of the Act which caters to the general tax component

This picture has been used for representational purpose
This picture has been used for representational purpose

Even after two-and-a-half years since civic polls, the BJP and Shiv Sena have failed to implement the poll promise of zero property tax in flats measuring up to 500 sqft. Congress and NCP, on the other hand, have promised a property tax waiver for the whole state.

The state government amended the Mumbai Municipal Corporation Act,1888 in March this as per a BMC proposal for the waiver. However, the government resolution only amended section 140 (C) of the Act which caters to the general tax component. A general tax is merely 10 per cent to 30 per cent of the total property tax whereas the other components such as water tax, stormwater drainage tax, BMC education cess, state education cess, employment guarantee cess, tree cess, road tax, etc remain in force.

The BMC collects approximately Rs 5,000 crore property tax, its primary source of income, every year. It collected Rs 5,082 crore in 2018-19 and has estimated a collection of Rs 5,100 crore for 2019-20. There are around 15 lakh houses in Mumbai that measure up to 500 sqft and the BMC stands to lose Rs 350 crore in revenue.

"Sena-BJP failed to implement the zero property tax policy. We are promising it for the whole state. They don't know how to run a government and how to implement ideas successfully," said Nawab Malik, chief spokesperson of the Nationalist Congress Party. According to Malik, GST is the primary source of income for municipal corporations and if the NCP wins, it will help weaker corporations. "We have already passed a property tax-waiver bill. But the next amendment needs to protect other corporations' income too," argued Aashish Shelar, MLA and former chief of Mumbai BJP.

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