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Explained: Maharashtra Cabinet’s decision to waive property tax bills – why now and politics behind it

🔴 With the BMC polls likely to be held in the next few months, the Shiv Sena is projecting the decision of fulfilling its promise, in line with CM Uddhav Thackeray's Karun Dakhvala campaign, given to Mumbaikars during the 2017 Mumbai civic polls.

Written by Vishwas Waghmode , Edited by Explained Desk | Mumbai |
Updated: January 13, 2022 2:25:59 pm
On January 1, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray had announced the decision of completely waiving off the property tax bills of residential properties measuring up to 500 sq ft in Mumbai. (Express file)

The Maharashtra Cabinet on Wednesday decided to completely waive off the property tax bills of residential properties measuring up to 500-sq ft in Mumbai. Why was the decision taken and what is the politics of the ruling Shiv Sena behind this move?

What is the Cabinet decision on property tax waiver?

The property tax of the residential properties up to 500-sq ft (46.45 sq mt), as per the demand by the BMC, has been waived off completely. The decision will benefit 16.14 lakh residential properties which house lakhs of families in Mumbai. The decision will be implemented from January 1, 2022. However, due to the waiver, BMC will incur revenue loss of Rs 417 crores while the state will incur revenue loss of Rs 45 crores totalling Rs 462 crores.

On January 1, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray had announced the decision of completely waiving off the property tax bills of residential properties measuring up to 500 sq ft in Mumbai.

Why has the decision been taken now?

With an eye on the 2017 Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) polls, the Shiv Sena had promised that it will completely waive off the property tax of residential properties up to 500 sq ft. Following the 2017 elections, the then state government gave its go-ahead to the Shiv Sena ruled BMC to waive off only the general tax component of the property tax in 2019 which led to a lot of criticism on the Shiv Sena.

The property tax comprises eight components, including general tax, water tax, sewerage tax, education cess, tree cess and water benefit tax among others. The general tax constitutes around 10 per cent to 30 per cent of the total amount.

The property tax decision and Shiv Sena’s politics for BMC polls

With the BMC polls likely to be held in the next few months, the Shiv Sena is projecting the decision of fulfilling its promise, in line with Sena chief and CM Uddhav Thackeray’s Karun Dakhvala (we did it) campaign, given to the Mumbaikars during the 2017 Mumbai civic polls. The decision is expected to resonate with lakhs of middle and lower-middle-class families, which form the Sena’s core voter base.

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A Sena leader said that the decision had to be taken as only partial relief was given to the people in 2019. “The decision shows that we just not only talk but deliver on our promises. The decision will benefit lakhs of Mumbaikars from the middle and lower middle class families in Mumbai,” said a Sena leader.

The leader further said that a large number of the middle class and upper middle class voters had voted for the BJP in 2017 polls. “During the pandemic, Sena chief and CM Uddhav Thackeray handled the situation very well by taking care of all communities. All of this will benefit in the polls,” said a Sena leader.

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