As anticipated, the controversial decision taken by the civic administration of bringing designated parking spaces in residential and commercial buildings of the twin-city under the umbrella of property tax hit the political roadblock. In a desperate attempt to augment revenue generation, the cash-strapped Mira Bhayandar Municipal Corporation (MBMC) had passed an order, directing local ward officers and tax officials to assess designated parking spaces duly allotted to a flat owner or commercial establishment and include the charges in the property tax demand.
Even before the implementation of the order, the BJP which single handedly rules the civic body, is up in arms against the move. Terming the decision as unjustified and illogical, deputy mayor-Hasmukh Gehlot and house leader- Prashant Dalvi (both BJP) had hinted that their party will vehemently oppose the levy. A day later MBMC Mayor- Jyotsna Hasnale ordered a stay on the civic administration’s decision on Thursday.
The BJP has contended that levying such taxes on parking spaces is a policy decision which cannot be taken by the civic administration without bringing the proposal before the general body and hearing the opinion of all the elected representatives- be it from the ruling party or the opposition. However the civic administration which remained firm on their stand that there was a provision in the rule book to levy taxes on parking spaces had also rolled up its sleeves to tax on open spaces which are being commercially exploited by private landowners.
Stating that the administration should recover pending dues instead of putting more burden on taxpayers, the mayor also opposed the civic chief- Dilip Dhole's move of clamping down on new water connections, tagged with an advice of augmenting water supply. With civic elections scheduled next year, both moves- imposing tax on parking spaces and ban on new water lines was bound to trigger a major controversy and the stay imposed by the mayor has left the civic administration red-faced.
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