After registering a remarkable feat of collecting a record-breaking amount of more than ₹102 crore towards property tax in the first five months of the current fiscal (2023-24), the recovery process of the Mira Bhayandar Municipal Corporation (MBMC) has lost steam.
The poor collections by the tax department in the last two and a half months stand testimony to this.
MBMC's EBS scheme
The early bird scheme (EBS) rolled out by MBMC’s tax department proved to be a huge hit and played an instrumental role in boosting the collections. This is evident from the fact that more than 1.89 lakh citizens utilized the early bird opportunity due to which the total collections till 31, July, stood at ₹102.16 crore.
The incentive scheme offered discounts amounting to five and three percent for those who opted to clear their property taxes on or before 30, June and on or before July 31, respectively.
An additional amount of ₹2.49 crore was received from taxes on mobile towers. However, after the EBS ended on 31, July the collections have been limited to below ₹21 crore between August 1 to October 15.
Property tax collections major source of revenue
One of the major sources of revenue generation, property tax collections contribute a lion’s share in the annual budgets of the municipal corporation. Although, property tax collections amounting 280 crore had been projected for the current fiscal, the civic administration anticipates ₹232 crore owing to the presence of double and ghost entries in the tax registry. With just ₹123 crore in its property tax kitty, the MBMC stares at the daunting task of recovering ₹109 crore in the remaining five months.
To further compound the woes, the MBMC is expected to run short of manpower if elections are declared early next year. “We have trained our attention on speeding up collections and mopping up the remaining arrears before February 15, 2024.
Tax inspectors have been given specific targets failing which they will be issued show cause notices. Also, we will soon initiate a process to auction properties of chronic defaulters.” said deputy civic chief (tax) - Sanjay Shinde. The assessed number of properties in the twin city is currently pegged at around 4,00,607 including 64, 618 commercial and 3,35,989 residential units.