In yet another shocking revelation giving rise to speculation about suspected irregularities, the Mira-Bhayandar Municipal Corporation (MBMC) is all set to write off Rs 63 crore shown to be as outstanding property tax dues, mainly due to erroneous and out-of-date records. The astronomical sum by way of tax were to be recovered from thousands of ghost properties which do not exist other than in the outstanding registry files of the tax department which has now sought a nod from the standing committee to weed out such property bills and write off the tax dues from their collection system.
Apart from multiple billings for a single property, in many cases, the tax department has continued to tax undeveloped plots after they have been developed or redeveloped while imposing tax on the finished construction, leading to double taxation.
The other reason attributed for the incorrect figures, is that the department has not deleted the names of owners who have sold out or transferred their properties. “Despite clearing my tax dues, I have been getting dual bills for a single property.” said Bhayandar resident Mukesh Mehta.
“We have appealed to the standing committee to delegate responsibility for nullifying these tax dues, which cannot be collected at any cost,” confirmed deputy municipal commissioner Vijay Mhasal. Averaging Rs.192 crore as the annual revenue generation, official statistics reveal that out of a total of 3.05 lakh assessed properties, 2.53 lakh are residential and 52,487 commercial ones in the twin-city. Interestingly, thousands of properties have remained out of the civic body’s tax net.