Property bills with 'waiver' yet to be dispatched by BMC

Updated: Sep 19, 2019, 09:05 IST | Prajakta Kasale | Mumbai

The civic body had, five months ago, announced an exemption of the general tax component from bills of houses measuring less than 500 sq ft

Representational picture
Representational picture

More than five months after the Brihanamumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) announced dispatching the new property tax bills for flats measuring 500 sq ft or below, the civic body hasn't done so yet. It had also published a press release announcing the bill dispatch on August 6.

The Shiv Sena and BJP had mentioned waiving off property tax for small houses (up to 500 sq ft) in their election agenda. The decision was approved in the general body meeting and the Maharashtra cabinet on March 8. However, the government resolution only amended section 140 (C) of the Mumbai Municipal Corporation Act which caters to the general tax component - merely 10 to 30 per cent of the total tax.

The other components including water tax, stormwater drainage tax, BMC education cess, state education cess, employment guarantee cess, tree cess, road tax etc make for 70 to 90 per cent of the property bill. The BMC was in constant consultation with the state government over this for five months. It finally published a press note on August 6 saying the bills would be delivered by only deducting the general component. But 40 days after the statement, bills haven't been sent out yet.

"The ruling parties merely want to fool people. They announced the waiver before Lok Sabha elections to gain popularity," said Ravi Raja, opposition leader in the BMC, adding, "Despite property tax being the main source of revenue for the BMC, it is not dispatching the bills. They want to hide the fact that the exemption is negligible." BMC commissioner Praveen Pardeshi did not reply to calls and messages.

According to data with BMC's assessment and collection department, Mumbai has 15 lakh houses that are measure 500 sq ft or less. The civic body is likely to lose around R350 crore of revenue collection due to exemption of property tax for such flats. After the closure of Octroi, property tax has become the BMC's primary source of income. BMC collects around R5,000 crore worth property tax in a year. The civic body has collected R5,082 crore in 2018-19 and estimated a collection of R5,100 crore for 2019-20.

Rs 350 cr
Amount BMC will lose due to exemption

Rs 5k cr
Average annual revenue from property tax

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