Mumbai: The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is about to face a new challenge from residents of Mumbai regarding their decision to adapt the method of calculating property taxes through the capital-value based system. The new method would definitely help the Municipal Corporation but will be completely against the interests of the residents. In protest of the new system, residents have resolved to approach the Bombay High Court.
The BMC has decided to calculate the property’s capital value on the basis of its base value. Base value is related to the ready reckoner rate. The ready reckoner rate is decided by the town planning department of the state government. For a cluster of different kinds of lands such as residential, commercial or industrial, the ready reckoner rate is fixed on the basis of factors like construction, facilities, proximity to airport, railway station etc. But the main complaint of residents in Mumbai is that the ready reckoner rate does not take in consideration the actual factor that affect the price of a property.
Adding fuel to the fire is the fact that taxes are expected to be paid with retrospective effect from April 2010. This has outraged the people even more as it is not their fault that the laws were not in place in 2010. Rajkumar Sharma, chairperson, Advanced Locality Management and Networking Action Committee (ALMANAC), Chembur said on Wednesday, “The BMC’s property tax system is talking the language of builders. There is no rationale.”
Though the issue is already being contested in an Aurangabad court and residents of Bandra-Khar are also thinking about moving to court to contest the issue, legal experts are of the opinion that the residents are fighting a losing battle. The best that can be achieved is relief from taxes with retrospective effect from April 2010.