Updated: June 15, 2021 8:20:13 pm
The Bombay High Court has issued a notice to the PMC over alleged irregularities in collection of property tax as pointed out by 41 residents of Balewadi.
“The High Court heard the petition challenging the PMC over its calculation and collection of property tax, while issuing notice to the PMC to respond in two weeks,” said Satya Muley, a lawyer representing the petitioners. The next hearing is on June 24.
As many as 41 Balewadi residents have approached the HC challenging the PMC on how it has levied property tax. They have alleged that it is discriminatory and non-transparent, and have sought a stay on the implementation of two government resolutions (GR) related to property tax of the PMC.
The petitioners referred to the GRs dated October 25, 2018, and August 1, 2019, on the basis of which the PMC was levying property tax. “The GRs implemented by the PMC are arbitrary, discriminative, retrospective and non-transparent,” stated their petition.
Petitioners said according to the 2019 GR, the state government rescinded the civic body resolution of 1970, which allowed 40 per cent concession on estimated annual rent and 15 per cent deduction for repair and maintenance on annual rent while calculating annual rateable value (ARV) of residential property occupied by owner. However, Comptroller and Auditor General of India, in its audit report of the state government for 2013-14, pointed out that while determining ARV of properties in the PMC, deduction of repairs from the annual rent was incorrectly allowed at 15 per cent as against 10 per cent. The state government on October 25, 2018, suspended the civic body resolution of 1970.
Further, the PMC, citing May 28, 2019 communication of the state government, decided to recover excess amount arising due to grant of concession of 15 per cent instead of 10 per cent from 2010-11, the petition stated.
“The PMC has discriminately implemented the GR, dated August 1, 2019, only to newly assessed properties without considering ARV of similarly situated properties. Thus, we have to approach the High Court,” said the petitioners.
The petition has prayed for the prohibition of the implementation of the GR issued on August 1, 2019, while declaring that its implementation from retrospective effect is illegal. It has also stated that the court should direct the PMC to calculate and charge annual property tax from self-occupied properties in prospective manner and provide a breakup of property tax calculation.
The petitioners also prayed to the court to quash and set aside the GR issued on October 25, 2018, and August 1, 2019, after going through their legality and validity. The PMC should also be directed to ensure equality and parity in calculation and charging of property tax for similarly situated properties, it stated.
It also said there should be a stay on the implementation of the GR issued on August 1, 2019, till the final disposal of the petition, and that financial benefits to all petitioners and similar property owners in the city should be continued.