Mumbai’s BMC Struggles With Lowest Property Tax Revenue In 8 Years

Mumbai’s civic administration, the BMC, is grappling with its lowest property tax revenue in eight years. According to municipal sources, this decline stems from several factors including delayed bill issuance, legal intricacies surrounding new tax calculation methods, and a lack of tax rate hikes over the past five years.

BMC

As of March 31, the BMC has managed to collect Rs 3,147 crore in property taxes for the 2023-24 (till 7 pm March 31) fiscal year. However, The bills were sent to the taxpayers on February 27. So, the assessment and collection department could get only a month to collect the revenue. Recognizing the crucial role property tax plays in funding infrastructure projects, the BMC aimed to secure at least 70% of the targeted revenue by March 31. To accommodate the delay in bill distribution, citizens were granted an extended payment deadline until May 25, without incurring the usual 2% monthly late fee.

In a bid to meet revenue targets, the BMC published a list of significant defaulters with substantial outstanding property tax dues on its website. Furthermore, facilitation centres at BMC headquarters and across 24 administrative wards remained open from 8 am to 10 pm during the final four days of the collection period, these efforts culminated in the collection of Rs 3,147 crores within a month. However, a shortfall of Rs 1,300 crore is anticipated for the fiscal year 2023-24, revenue collected after April 1 will be attributed to the subsequent financial year, according to BMC officials.

Property tax traditionally ranks as the BMC’s second-largest revenue source, this source of revenue has witnessed a decline in recent years. Typically, property tax bills are dispatched by July each financial year, In December 2023, bills were initially issued with a 20% hike, only to be retracted following public criticism. Subsequently, revised bills without the hike were issued the following month.

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