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bmc property tax collection sees drop this year lowest since 2012

BMC property tax collection sees drop this year, lowest since 2012

With the financial year 2023-24 coming to an end, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has collected a total of Rs 3,195 crore in property tax as of March 31, which is only 71% of its estimated target of property tax collection for FY 2023-24 which was Rs 4500 crore. This has been the lowest recovery of property tax during any fiscal year in the past decade. The BMC in 2019-20 collected a total property tax of Rs 3,735 crore, before that in 2011-12 total property tax worth Rs 3223 crore was recovered. Meanwhile, in 2022-23, the actual collection stood at Rs 4994 crore. Civic officials said that in a bid to boost the collection, the BMC has extended the deadline for property tax payment till May 25. Meanwhile, the civic body’s data show that out of the Rs 3,195 crore property tax collected this year, Rs 336.45 crore was collected from H/East ward which covers the Bandra East, Kalanagar, Khar East and Santacruz areas, followed by Rs 317.48 crore collected from K/East (Andheri East, Jogeshwari) ward, and Rs 257.11 crore collected from G/South (Worli, Prabhadevi) ward. Meanwhile, the lowest collection of Rs 22.33 crore was recovered from B (Dongri, Sandhurst Road) ward, followed by Rs 41.93 crore recovered from C (Pydhonie, Bhuleshwar) areas. Civic officials said that one of the key reasons behind low recovery of property tax this year, is due to the late issuance of property tax bills to citizens. It should be recalled that starting December 26, 2023, the civic authorities had sent property tax bills at a 17.5% higher rate. However, following a public outrage, the civic authorities issued revised bills for paying property tax. “We started to issue new bills starting the first week of February this year and it took at least a few weeks for every property owner to receive the bills. Each property owner needs to pay the tax within 90-days after receiving the bills, as a result, we have extended the deadline till May 25, to expedite our collection,” said an official. The officials also maintained, owing to the upcoming elections there has been a shortfall of staffers in the civic body. “Ahead of any election year, we start issuing property tax bills by September or October of its preceding year so that our officers can finish the book-keeping and accounting formalities before they are pressed into election duty. This year, with an election to take place within a few months, there is already a shortfall of employees in our department,” the official added. Property Tax is the second largest source of revenue for the civic body. The BMC has not hiked property tax rates since 2015 and, as per rules, the tax rates are hiked every five years. However, in view of the Covid-19 outbreak in 2020, BMC authorities deferred the decision to increase the tax rates that year and the rates have not been increased since then.

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