Mira-Bhayandar: In an attempt to augment its revenue generation, the Mira Bhayandar Municipal Corporation (MBMC) has finally taken steps to recover additional taxes on commercial properties which have been leased out by the original owners. The tax department also started issuing notices to owners asking them to submit copies of the leave-and-license agreements of commercial properties which they have executed with the lessee. However, in a major setback to the civic administration, local legislator- Geeta Jain has raised a question mark over the implementation process.
MLA Geeta Jain says due process needs to be followed
In her letter to the municipal commissioner, Jain has cited several sections of the Maharashtra Municipal Corporations Act-1949, which need to be approved and incorporated before imposing such levies. “I am not against steps taken to augment revenue which is needed for the development of the twin-city, however while doing so the due process of law needs to be followed which includes an official nod from the state government.” said Jain. “The implementation is in accordance with the rulebook. In fact, the general body has passed a resolution mooting a 54 % levy which was later reduced to 20%.” said deputy civic chief- Sanjay Shinde. The MBMC aimed to escalate its projected collection figures by ₹10 crore as hundreds of properties including industrial units, multiplexes, shopping complexes and individual shops could come under the rental tax net. Terming the levy as unjustified, Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Jitendra Pathak has warned of launching an agitation against the MBMC if the tax is not rolled back.
MBMC failed to implement 2018 resolution on property tax
As per a resolution passed in 2018 by the general body in accordance to rule 7 in chapter VIII (taxation rules) of the Maharashtra Municipal Corporations Act-1949, non-residential properties which had been leased out would attract 20 percent of the annual rent based on the capital value-based tax system or ₹10 per square feet of the carpet area (whichever is higher). However, the tax department has failed to implement the resolution for the past more than five years. The MBMC faces a daunting task of augmenting its receipts towards property tax revenue by at least 25 percent to remain eligible for grants provided by the central government for various projects and initiatives under the aegis of the fifteenth finance commission.
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. Notably, the tax department which is unaware about the number of commercial properties that are being used on a rental basis has sought data from the power service provider and the sub-registrar to enable them to identify self-occupied and rented properties.