Mumbai: BMC corporators demand 2% waiver on property tax fines

Corporators urged the BMC administration to waive off the 2 per cent fine on property tax. The demand was made during the standing committee meeting on Wednesday. Earlier this year, BMC’s assessment and collection department had passed a notification saying that citizens who have pending property tax bills will be levied penalty of 2 per cent per month if they don't pay the outstanding amount by March 9.

According to the agenda tabled by the BMC in the meeting on Wednesday, the civic body has a total outstanding property tax amount of Rs 19, 000 crore, of which Rs 15,000 crore is under litigation.

In the 2020-21 financial budget, BMC had set a target of collecting Rs 6,700 crore property tax, but the pandemic reduced it to Rs 4,500 crore.

Rais Shaikh, a Samajwadi Party (SP) corporator and member of standing committee raised the proposal of tax waiver on Wednesday. Shaikh had also written to the Mayor. “Middle class Mumbaikars are under heavy financial pressure since the last one year. Many of them are struggling to make ends meet. It is unjust to put additional burden on their shoulder," Shaikh said. His proposal was backed by corporators across party lines.

Ravi Raja, Leader of Opposition (LoP) said that the Shiv Sena shouldn't forget that before corporation elections in 2017, it had promised to waive off property tax on properties smaller than 500 square feet.

"The BMC is giving waivers to five star hotels and real estate firms, but at the same time it is turning a blind eye towards the middle class Mumbaikars," said Raja.

Bhalchandra Shirsat, senior Bharataiya Janata Party (BJP) corporator and member of standing committee said that the decision to implement penalty was passed without consultation with the committee.

"All the major civic policies are passed after getting approved from standing committee, however in this case this proposal wasn't tabled in the committee only," said Shirsat. Yashwant Jadhav - standing committee chairman told the civic administration to stay the proposal till the mayor calls a meeting with the group leaders of each party to further discuss the matter.

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