Mumbai: BMC continues crackdown on property tax defaulters

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation's (BMC) citywide crackdown on property tax defaulters prompted a Worli-based company named National cotton products to clear the tax arrears of over ₹3.5 crores that were pending for the last 28 years. As the financial year is nearing its end, the Mumbai civic body seems to be leaving no stone unturned to reach its annual target of property tax collection.

In the Worli property tax of Rs 3.62 crores towards 6 commercial units owned by one 'National Cotton Products', was not paid since 1992. After the crackdown, the company has paid up Rs 3. 23 crore to the civic body to get their water connection, etc. restored.

Kripadham Housing Society, in Borivali (East), had not paid Rs. 16.25 lakhs, including a fine of Rs 1.57 lakh. The civic body disconnected the water connection of the housing society, following which the society immediately paid up the arrears including the fine amount. Property tax arrears amounting to Rs 95.78 lakhs have been pending by Vardhan Hall in Mulund. "The water connection of the property has been disconnected due to non-payment of property tax despite repeated requests and notices. The connection will be restored only when the defaulter will clear the tax," said a BMC official.

The official added; " We also disconnected the water connection and blocked sewer lines of Deepti Solitaire Commercial and Shripal Complex Commercial Property in 'N' ward (Ghatkopar, Vikhroli) due to pending property tax of Rs 17.39 and Rs 49.22 lakhs respectively. The water connection of the two properties has been cut off due to non-payment of property tax despite repeated requests and notices."

For the corporation, property tax becomes the biggest source of income (24 percent) for the civic body after the octroi was abolished. BMC has failed to achieve its target from the financial year 2016 to 2017.

The property tax collection this year has jumped to Rs. 3,704 crore as of March 16, 2021. The civic body had given the deadline of March 8 to defaulters this year to clear property tax arrears. Those who did not clear the arrears faced the action. The target for property tax collection this year was set at Rs 5,200 crore, and the BMC administration is making continuous efforts to achieve this target.

The assessment and collection department of the BMC issues property tax bills for a particular financial year in May. The deadline for paying 50 per cent of the tax is in August every year, while the remaining 50 per cent is to be paid in December. However, due to the covid19 pandemic, property tax bills for 2020-21 were issued only in December 2020m delaying the process.

According to the officials from the assessment and collection department the defaulters mostly commercial establishments owed the civic body Rs. 19000 crore. The BMC this year has attached 3,424 properties of various kinds including open land, commercial and residential properties and these would be auctioned based on their capital value.

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