Mira-Bhayandar: MBMC’s house tax plan fails to take off

Mira-Bhayandar: In a major embarrassment for the BJP which singlehandedly rules the Mira Bhayandar Municipal Corporation (MBMC), the much-hyped discount scheme aimed at easing tax burden on citizens amid the pandemic may be doomed even before it could actually take off, as the resolution still awaits an official nod from the civic administration.

A resolution moved by the BJP mooting 50 per cent rebate on house tax for the current fiscal was incorporated in the budget meeting held on August 13.

As per the resolution, those making payments on or before October 31, 2020, could avail the tax sops. It was also announced that interests on pending dues will be waived off if payments were cleared before the same deadline.

Concerned over the financial implications, the administration is only reluctant to implement the plan in entirety as it could translate into losses to the tune of more than Rs 52 crore. Moreover, the resolution is yet to reach the administration for a nod, sources said.

“We have not only passed the resolution to ease the financial burden of citizens but are also into the cost-cutting mode to trim unnecessary expenditure. The civic chief has to take a final call,” said Mayor Jyotsna Hasnale.

“If implemented, the relaxations are bound to drain a major chunk of anticipated revenue from our demand registers. It’s a major decision which will directly affect the financial health of the civic body, thus all aspects have to be examined,” said an MBMC officer.

This year the MBMC has projected property tax collections amounting Rs 235 crore. However, with revenue generation hitting rock bottom owing to the nationwide lockdown, MBMC is staring at a huge financial crisis with its coffers set to get near-empty next month. The tax sops will further add to its existing woes.

Carrot dangling exercise

Citizens who are coming forward to clear their property tax dues are being denied any discount or relief from penal interests by the tax department as the resolution is yet to get a green signal from the civic chief. “I took an advance salary from my employer to clear property tax dues to avail the discount, but the personnel deployed at collection counters are unaware of any such scheme. This is nothing but a carrot dangling exercise to make a fool out of taxpayers,” charged Bhayandar resident Ganesh Shivmath.

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