Donít comment on new tax system, BMC tells its councillors

After a few corporators announced that citizens can pay their property taxes based on the old system, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) Monday asked its councillors not to comment on the issue further.

The move comes after standing committee chairman Rahul Shewale and others announced that citizens facing problems with the new payment system can pay their taxes based on old system till the end of current financial year.

"There have been some issues with the new technology, which we aim to resolve in the next eight days. Till then please do not talk on this issue," said additional municipal commissioner Rajeev Jalota. He added that the corporation will also publish advertisements to clear the air on the new billing system.

The new system calculates property tax based on Ready Reckoner rate, which the corporation claims is a more accurate calculation than the previous system based on the rent value of the property.

As per the new system citizens must pay additional tax including arrears for two years from when the system was first mooted in 2010.

The tax department has also proposed a penalty in case retrospective bills are not paid before March 31.

Voicing concerns of taxing properties that have been resold after 2010, when the new system was introduced, BJP corporator Manoj Kotak said, "The BMC has not made it clear as to who will pay the bills for flats and shops resold after 2010. Wether it will be the old owner, new owner or the cooperative society?" "The excess arrears bill should be cancelled if the corporation does not do something about this backlog."

BJP corporator Dilip Patel suggested an extension for payment of the property tax.

Meanwhile, Jalota said bills cannot be cancelled since BMC has already migrated to the new tax system.

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