The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has said that the revised property tax rules have to be passed by the elected representatives of the corporation before March 20 or citizens will have to shell out extra.
According to the revised rules for the period 2015-20, the BMC has pegged its revenue receipts from property tax at Rs 4,563 crore annually, a 15 per cent increase from the current estimate of Rs 3,984 crore.
However, the BMC predicts a 27 per cent increase from the current estimates if the old rules are to be followed. If the proposal is not passed, property tax will be almost doubled.
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Though the proposal to revise rules was presented before the Standing Committee on Wednesday, members of the Opposition parties in the corporation refused to discuss it, stating that they had not had enough time to peruse the proposal.
Congress corporator Asif Zakaria said, “Instead of receiving the draft three days before the meeting, we got it on Wednesday morning. It is obvious that we cannot hold a discussion without studying the proposal. Even in 2012, the property tax formula was passed haphazardly because of which citizens petitioned against the the BMC’s decision in the high court.”
A senior civic official from the Assessment and Collection Department of the BMC said, “We had submitted the revised set of rules on March 3 and also presented the rules to the group leaders on March 16. If the revised rules are not passed, then we will be forced to issue a statement saying that the old rules will continue.”
In the new set of rules for the next five years, the BMC has done away with its earlier formula of “Carpet Area (CA) x Ready Reckoner Rate (RRR) x 1.20 per cent” and limited it to “CA x RRR”.
Yashodhar Phanse, standing committee chairman, said, “We have to pass the revised rules for the benefit of Mumbaikars. When the rules were presented to the group leaders, the Opposition leader did not object to any of the points.”