With the financial year 2020-21 inching towards its end, the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) property tax collection, which is its primary source of revenue, too is reaching closer to the annual target. After cracking a whip on property tax defaulters, the civic body has managed to collect arrears of around Rs 416 crores in a single day, it revealed on Tuesday.
The property tax collection this year has jumped to Rs. 3486 crore as of March 9, 2021. The civic body had given a deadline of March 8 to defaulters this year to clear property tax arrears.
On the last day of paying the property tax arrears, an amount of Rs 415.85 crore was collected. The target for property tax collection this year was set at Rs 5,200 crore. 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 COVID-19 pandemic, property tax bills for 2020-21 were issued only in December, 2020, which delayed the process.
According to the officials from the Assessment and Collection Department, the defaulters, mostly commercial establishments, owed the civic body Rs 19,000 crore. BMC, this year, has attached 3,424 properties of various kinds, including open land and commercial and residential properties and these would be auctioned based on their capital value.
Those who do not pay the property tax on time are charged a penalty of two per cent on the balance at a recurring rate every month. After this, in the case of non-payment of the property tax, the civic body disconnects water and electricity supply to the property. If the defaulters still don’t settle their dues, the civic body attaches and auctions the property. Residents can pay their dues and free the property until the civic body auctions it.
Since 2013, the civic body has been unable to match its target of income that it hopes to collect from all its sources, including property tax. At most, it has managed to collect around 60 per cent of its targeted income every fiscal year. During fiscal 2018-2019, while the property tax target was Rs 5,206 crore. BMC managed to collect Rs 5,082 crore. In 2019-20, the BMC’s target was Rs 5,600 crore, but only Rs 4,100 crore was collected.