BJP Mumbai-unit president Ashish Shelar, along with other corporators from the party, met Municipal Commissioner Sitaram Kunte on Wednesday demanding that legal opinion be sought prior to the presentation of the new formula for property tax calculation.
The formula has to be put forth before the standing committee of the BMC for its approval.
Shelar along with group leader Manoj Kotak and senior leaders like Dilip Patel and Amit Satham have requested that the commissioner seek a review of the formula from an advocate general. “In keeping with the interests of Mumbaikars, we have asked the commissioner to conduct a legal review and seek expert opinions,” Shelar said. He also confirmed that the commissioner has promised to look into the issue and seek an opinion within a week.
After BMC changed the property tax system from rent value to capital value, the new formula for calculating tax was set as built-up area (BUA) x Ready Reckoner Rate (RRR) of the property. This formula has been used to collect taxes since 2013 with arrears dating back to 2010.
While BMC claims the new system brought parity in tax payments across Mumbai, property owners complain of glitches and lack of transparency in calculation and collection. Subsequently, several petitions filed in the Bombay High Court challenging the new system stated that the civic body was wrongly calculating and collecting property tax on BUA instead of the carpet area (CA) as was the previous practice as per the provisions of the Mumbai Municipal Corporation Act, 1888. BMC has now proposed a new formula for calculating tax – “Carpet Area x RRR x 1.2%”
While civic officials have maintained that the move is to maintain revenue neutrality, corporators had slammed BMC for charging extra and burdening Mumbaikars when the proposal was presented before the committee in June last year. Dilip Patel, corporator from BJP said, “The BMC is neither a profit making body nor an expert on financial matters to keep imposing changes.”