BMC receives 3,360 complaints over new property tax bills
Owners find flaws in construction code, incorrect area of shop and room in tax computation; civic body admits to blunder, asks citizens to refrain from bribing any official to rectify mistake
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has received 3,360 complaints after it dispatched new property tax bills generated under the capital-value based system. Following the grievances received, the civic body has cautioned citizens from bribing any civic official to resolve the issue. Officials have asked citizens to contact their local ward office’s help desk for clarifications.
The civic body dispatched 1.94 lakh bills in the past month asking owners to pay the arrears by March 31. Most of the complaints received are in regards to the civic body putting incorrect construction codes, and wrong area of the shop or room. “These are common errors and will be corrected soon. Citizens should not panic and bribe anyone. They also shouldn’t give money to anyone to resolve the problem,” said Rajiv Jalota, BMC additional municipal commissioner.
“Because of the tax computation in the new system, there would be some errors, as we had to print 55 lakh pages. We will start correcting all queries from February 15,” said Jalota. “The grievances would be corrected after visiting the premises,” said Jalota. He also said that the BMC is expecting more queries in the coming days.
According to the new system, all houses of area below 500-sq ft house have been exempted from the hike till April 2015. Many complaints are about bills issued for rooms below 500-sq ft. “Many citizens residing in Patelwadi, Kurla, which is my constituency, have received inflated bills of almost double and triple the charges they used to pay earlier,” said Rajhans Singh, Congress MLA.
BMC implemented the new tax system wherein property tax is calculated on five factors: price of property, its area, age of the building, whether it is a commercial or residential property and type of construction. According to sources, the amount of property tax for residential units will reduce after the implementation of the capital-value based system. The civic general body approved the new taxation system on January 27, 2010, and it came into retrospective effect from April 1, 2010.
Rs 3,500 cr
The revenue BMC expects to generate form the new tax system