As the fate of the much-hyped discount scheme mooted by the BJP-led Mira Bhayandar Municipal Corporation (MBMC) continues to hang in balance, thankfully for the civic administration the property tax collections seems to be gradually inching towards pre-Covid-19 levels.
One of the major revenue generators for the civic treasury, the MBMC had projected property tax collections amounting to Rs 271 crore for the current fiscal. However, revenue generation had hit rock bottom owing to the nationwide lockdown that was imposed in March, this year to contain the spread of the deadly pandemic.
The gradual easing of the lockdown led to the cash-strapped MBMC collecting over Rs.23.19 crore in the first half of the current fiscal. This at a time when the BJP-led ruling governance has drawn flak for its undue hurry and inability to implement the much-hyped discount scheme aimed at easing the financial burden on citizens amid the pandemic.
Scores of taxpayers are turning up to clear their property tax dues However, a market slump and the ongoing restrictions on movement have resulted in collections being marginally lower than the approximate Rs. 27 crore generated for the same period last year.
“We are slowly picking up. As of now we have collected around 23.19 crore from a total of 50,693 taxpayers which include 19,907 people who opted for online payments and paid dues amounting more than Rs. 9.14 crore.” confirmed a tax officer.
Notably, the tax department functions with a skeletal staff of around 55 civic personnel including 12 tax inspectors. The resolution offering 50 % tax rebate passed by the BJB had been shot down by civic chief- Dr. Vijay Rathod who sent the resolution for scrapping. The BJP has now sought help from the state government to ensure safe passage for the resolution.