BMC to auction properties to recover property tax dues

Mumbai: The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has decided to start recovering Rs 2,855 crore owed to it as property tax from 2,400 properties across the city, by auctioning these properties, as the dues in these cases have been pending for several years. BMC has begun the process of attaching these properties, and the entire exercise should be completed in three months, said a BMC official.

These include commercial as well as residential properties, educational institutions and open spaces. There are 78 properties from Mumbai City, 90 from the western suburbs and 60 from the eastern suburbs. The property owners can still save their properties by clearing the property tax dues at the earliest, said the official.

“We have already drawn up a list of 2,400 such properties. As of now, we have collected Rs 2,745 crore in property tax, which is more than 50 per cent of the total outstanding amount. Till December, the collection was very poor. From December 15, our actual collection started. In one-and-a-half months we have collected more than Rs 800 crore. Till now, we have collected Rs 2,745 cr out of Rs 5,600 which is the total target for this year,” said Sangita Hansale, Assistant Municipal Commissioner (Planning)

“Even after repeated reminders to clear their dues, it seems the property owners have not taken previous reminders seriously. We are already in process of attaching the properties. We will auction the properties to recover the property taxes,” added Hansale.

As per procedure, a notice has to served 21 days before attaching the property. “We have already sent notices, and before a specific time period, but the dues are not yet cleared. Such properties will be attached, and then the water and electricity supply to the properties will be disconnected,” said Hansale.

Property tax is a major revenue earner for the BMC. The corporation’s revenue reduced to half after the abolition of Octroi in 2017.