The Maharashtra cabinet has approved a property tax waiver for houses in Mumbai with carpet area upto Rs 500 sqft. The waiver will be applicable from January 1, 2019.
The proposal was Shiv Sena’s election promise before the 2017 civic elections. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) had cleared the proposal for the waiver in July 2017 and it was sent to the state government for clearance. However the state government did not take up the proposal till Friday, which was the last cabinet meeting before the election code of conduct for the general elections comes into effect.
The BMC’s proposal also included relief in property tax up to 60% for flats that are more than 500 sq ft area up to 700 sq ft area, which the state government did not need to clear as the powers are with the BMC and it does not need approval from the government.
“The cabinet has to clear the proposal if a tax levied by any corporation is completely done away with, in case the tax limit is reduced or changed the powers are with the corporation,” said an official.
Senior officials from the urban development department (UDD) said that there are 14.98 lakh units in Mumbai having area less than 500 sq ft.
“This scheme will give relief to the residents of chawls and middle class areas which is a big voter base for any political parties,” said a source.
Property tax is now the biggest source for revenue for the BMC and especially after the octroi was subsumed by GST.
The property tax collection target for 2018-19 is Rs 5,206 crore.