A day after Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray said the proposal on property tax waiver would be passed by the civic body before the monsoon session of the Assembly, the party has taken a step towards delivering its poll promise. The Sena moved a proposal Tuesday to waive off property tax for residential houses measuring up to 500 square feet and give a 60 per cent concession for houses between 500 sq ft and 700 sq ft. Thackeray had spoken about this at the party’s 51st anniversary event.
Earlier this year, the Sena had received flak from residents and other political parties after the poll promise of the property tax waiver found no mention in 2017-18 budget of the civic body.
Yashwant Jadhav, a senior Sena corporator and Leader of the House, moved a notice of motion on Tuesday proposing the waiver and concessions. “As per the Sena’s poll promise, the proposal has been moved. There should be complete property tax waiver for houses up to 500 sq ft and 60 per cent concession for those between 500 sq ft and 700 sq ft. The proposal will be passed in the general body meeting next month and then be sent to the state government, for making necessary changes in the law,” said Jadhav.
He further said an amendment was proposed to waive the property tax for houses up to 500 sq ft in March 2015. “But it was not implemented by the civic administration,” Jadhav added. The Sena leader said the waiver and concession were required as people living in such houses were usually relocated from slums.
“It becomes difficult for them to pay property tax. As a result, many of them are forced to move out of the city. So, this proposal is in larger interest of residents,” he added.
According to a senior BMC official, about 15 lakh houses in the city fall in the “upto 500 sq ft” category, which will get complete property tax waiver, and about 2 lakh houses are eligible for the 60 per cent concession.
Jadhav’s proposal mentions that the tax waiver and concessions should be given for the period of 2015-2020. “After the proposal is approved, the BMC will have to return the property tax collected from 2015. The waiver and concession are not just for five years. Once the necessary change is made in the law about it, we will continue with the relief,” said Jadhav.
Officials from the civic body said if the state makes the amendments, the civic body will incur revenue loss of approximately Rs 500 crore per year. “It is difficult to say anything on returning the tax amount from 2015. The state government has to take a call on that,” an official said.