BMC refuses to extend tax payment deadline

Almost a month after it issued property tax bills based on capital value, BMC has refused to extend the payment deadline. Citizens will now have to pay arrears for the past three years before March-end as the bills dispatched in January have been calculated with retrospective effect since April 2010.

The new tax system came into effect on April 1, 2010, after which BMC started issuing 'provisional' bills. The civic body said it would charge citizens retrospectively once the new system was cleared.

The difference in amount between the new and the old rateable value system should be paid by March 31. This means citizens have only three months to pay additional property tax based on capital value for the past three years.

Bills paid after March 31 will attract a penalty.

Additional municipal commissioner Rajiv Jalota said, "Citizens whose bills have increased after implementation of the new system were paying very less originally. We will ensure collection by March-end."

BMC, which expects to garner over Rs 3,500 crore through the new system in the next two months, has so far collected Rs 10 crore.

Following complaints of flaws in tax computation, the civic administration has set up a help desk in each ward.

The major errors include wrong construction code, abnormal year of construction, abnormal area of room or shop and blank bills.

Of the 1,94,734 bills dispatched, complaints have been received against 3,360. Most, 2,854, complaints have come from residents of the island city.

A civic official said the new system would increase tax on properties in the island city, while relatively new buildings would get deflated bills.

Most residential and commercial buildings that came up after 2000 will get reduced bills. There will be no increase in tax on flats with areas up to 500 square feet.

The switch from the rateable value system based on rent to capital value system based on market price has been necessitated by a state government ordinance.

The taxing system

n Only 19% of residential properties (14.2 lakh units) and 25% of non-residential properties (3.77 lakh units) will have to pay more

n Tax amount will not change for 53% of residential properties, while it will reduce for 27% of properties Bills despatched: 1,94,734

Complaints received: 3,360

Complaints from island city 2,854, Western suburbs 408 and Eastern suburbs 98

Bills to be sent: 33,060

Residents will have to pay general tax, including fire tax, street tax, municipal education cess, water tax, water benefit tax, sewerage tax, sewerage benefit tax and tree cess

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