Thursday, September 3, 2009

New property tax rule put on hold Assetventures

MUMBAI: With an eye on the upcoming assembly elections, public representatives in the BMC held back an important proposal to implement new
capital value-based system to calculate property tax.

The capital value-based system, which is fairer and easier to understand, will now be introduced in phases across the city only after the election code of conduct, which came into force from Monday, gets over. The proposal was held back by the civic standing committee after the corporators called it a `mystery'.

"The civic administration has still not clarified how this system will benefit the middle and lower-middle class. There is still very little understanding on the calculations and why it can be so skewed for different properties," said Yogesh Sagar, member, standing committee.

The new system, starting from April 1, 2010, will be will be based on the actual property value. The figure will be mostly based on the stamp duty ready reckoner, which the government brings out every year. Older buildings will get a concession for depreciation.

As of now, Mumbai follows the rateable value-based system, which was introduced in 1888 by the BMC Act. According to this system, property tax is calculated on the basis of the rent a property is likely to earn. Going by the book, residential properties are charged at 83.5% of the rent they are likely to earn and commercial properties at an even more absurd 112.5%. With rents frozen for buildings built before 1940, and the BMC levying increased tax rates for newer buildings, the existing system has led to lot of disparities.

Additional civic commissioner, Anil Diggikar, said doubts of committee members will be cleared. "We have assured them that explanations will be soon given," he said.

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