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The civic agency is preparing to aggressively pursue and collect close to Rs. 350 crore in property tax dues owed to it by 73 commercial enterprises.
“Manyata Tech Park and Intel India have been asked to pay up whatever difference they owed us, with some adjustments to time and options to pay it in batches. We will be waiting for a week or so and then proceed to send notices and, take other actions if needed,” said M. Shivaraju, chairperson of the BBMP Standing Committee for Taxation and Finance.
“Our legal team is in the process of procuring caveats from the court so that there is no legal hurdle or other troubles from these companies. We will soon begin the process of issuing notices and then, after the notice period is over, we will start taking steps like seizure and foreclosure until the money is deposited,” said Mr. Shivaraju, adding that most of these companies had paid their taxes, but that the self-assessment scheme had been misused and that there was a huge difference between what was owed and what was actually paid.
“We released a sample of 10 big defaulters after we conducted a survey that ended in April. These 10 companies have declared a total area of 1,09,27,819 square feet for tax purposes whereas the tax payable is for 1,52,75,091 sqft. The other way, is that some of these commercial properties have wrongfully declared themselves as residential,” he added.
Housing societies that go green to get rebate on property tax
In an another attempt to reduce the burden on the old and over-burdened landfills in the city, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) wants to give a rebate to housing societies, which work towards reducing that burden.
The scheme will not only consider the amount of waste that the society segregates or processes. Under the scheme, if a society segregates waste into wet and dry, processes it through composting or any other method, has reduced its energy consumption by using solar panels, uses grey water and has in turn reduced its consumption of potable water, will get the discount.
A society that manages zero garbage will get the highest rebate on offer.
“All the visible parameters will be assessed. For example, an electricity bill that can show the reduction in bill owing to the society’s use of green methods will get the rebate.,” said a senior civic official.
The BMC which began its ‘Clean Society, Green Society’ scheme in August, has drawn some broad guidelines to provide the discount in property tax. The housing complexes in the city that eliminate the entire amount of waste collected, transported and disposed, will get the highest rebate, said the guidelines.
Housing societies’ green initiatives will be inspected annually and then the discount will be considered. BMC, in 2002, had made it mandatory for new constructions above 1,000 square metres to install rain water harvesting. However, due to lack of inspection at regular intervals, the scheme failed. BMC is now trying to promote rain water harvesting by including it in the list for possible rebate on the property tax.
The BMC is yet to decide the percentage of the rebate that will be provided in the property tax. “The rebate will depend on how the societies have reduced the three-step work of the civic body i.e. collection, transportation and disposal of the waste,” said BJ Pawar, deputy municipal commissioner, assessment and collection.
The formal housing societies and complexes account for around 30% of the daily generation of waste within city. The purpose of the scheme is to reduce the burden of garbage on the dumping site. Currently, the civic body is going through space crises as all the three dumping grounds have reached their full capacity.
“It is a good initiative by the BMC. Officials need to make sure that is thoroughly implemented and properly inspected, otherwise it will lead to corruption,” said Raj Kumar Sharma, ALM, Chembur, who successfully began composting of waste with various housing societies.
Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation
The civic body began its ‘Clean Society, Green Society’ scheme in August to eliminate the burden on the three dumping grounds in the city
The city generates 9,600 metric tonnes of waste daily. There are 32 segregation centres in the city, BMC aims to add 35 more.
Property tax rebate is BMCs second attempt to promote green societies. The civic body had announced that it will stop accepting mixed waste and issue legal notices to housing societies that fail to segregate waste at source. Three years later, things have hardly changed.
Pune Municipal Corporation:
In 2014, the Pune Municipal Corporation announced a discount for residential property tax to implementing environment-friendly measures for rainwater harvesting, use of solar energy and vermicomposting to process wet waste. A 10 per cent discount is assured if one carries out at least two environment-friendly measures and 5 per cent is offered for taking up one initiative.
Thane Municipal Corporation
Thane Municipal Corporation on July 15, 2016 announced a cleanliness competition for housing societies. The winning society will be exempted from paying 5 per cent of the property tax. The societies will be ranked on parameters like solid waste management, tree plantation, efficient water utilisation and rain water harvesting.
The civic body has also introduced a scheme for unassessed properties, under which people declaring their properties stand to gain 10% concession on their penalty amount. Unassessed properties are those which have not been recorded by the civic administration.
The scheme was started in the first week of August and will continue till September 30. It is the last such scheme before the actual implementation of Geographic Information System (GIS) mapping of all properties, the civic body said.
The property tax is a levy issued by the government on a person's real or personal property. The property is assessed to give it a value which is taxed. The amount of tax owed is determined by multiplying the fair market value of the property with the current tax rate.