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Mumbai: Issuing of property tax bills still delayed

Mumbai: Issuing of property tax bills still delayed – After uploading property tax bills on its website on December 26 and rescinding them after the news of an unannounced tax hike was reported, the BMC is yet to issue bills, a fortnight later. This has resulted in a delay in recovery of taxes. Typically, the corporation begins issuing property tax bills in April—the first month of the financial year—and initiates action against defaulters in January. But in 2023, the BMC delayed the issuance of bills by nearly eight months.

When citizens objected to the hiked figures in the bills uploaded in December, the BMC withdrew the bills, stating that it would issue them again with corrected figures matching those in 2022. “The BMC immediately withdrew the bills once the news about the property tax hike was published. But it still hasn’t uploaded the ‘corrected’ bills,” said Asif Zakaria, a former corporator who raised the issue of the pending bills last month. 

Joint Municipal Commissioner Sunil Dhamne said it would take at least a week but did not comment further. This gives the corporation a mere three months for tax collection. Meanwhile, a source in the BMC revealed that the process of correction of amounts to last year’s figures was in process. The BMC’s rescinding of bills has now caused a 10-month delay in the matter, resulting in losses worth crores of rupees, which the corporation earns as interest. Only 20 per cent of the bill amount was collected till December 31, as compared to the same period last year.

For the financial year 2022-23, the BMC was able to collect Rs 3,175 crore till December 31, despite a few months’ delay in issuing bills. This year, only R638 crore was added to the BMC’s kitty during the same period. Property tax is the corporation’s second largest source of revenue, and a hike in taxes has been pending since 2020.

Disclaimer: Content taken from ‘Mid – Day’ E-Newspaper.

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