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Non-agricultural tax to be levied based on new formula

June 13, 2019 05:12 AM


Non-agricultural tax to be levied based on new formula
Interest that was being charged earlier using the old formula will no longer be levied; collector to conduct survey, make a fresh calculation as per new rates
TWEETS @MumbaiMirror

The state government has decided to implement a revised formula to calculate non-agricultural (NA) tax bills. The bills will now be generated using the new formula, and the interest that was earlier levied using the old formula will no longer be charged.

This was decided at a recent meeting Revenue Minister Chandrakant Dada Patil had with Bandra West MLA and the BJP’s Mumbai president, Ashish Shelar.

Under the Maharashtra Land Revenue Code, 1966, non-agricultural tax is imposed in areas which were recognised as agricultural zones outside gaothans, where there is nonfarming activity. It is levied over and above property tax.

The tax was suddenly increased by over 1,500 per cent in 2006, and, despite a subsequent stay on the taxes, residents were billed arbitrarily in November 2017. For instance, the tax for three plots of Salsette Catholic CHS in Bandra was earlier Rs 44,553 for five years. After the hike, they received a bill of over Rs 81 lakh.

Bowing to pressure from residents’ groups in the suburbs, the state had decided to bring down the percentage of NA tax from 3 per cent to 0.05 per cent of the Ready Reckoner rate.

Shelar, who has been pursuing the issue since last year, said, “The NA tax bills will now be generated with the new formula. Also, the interest housing societies used to be charged using the old formula will no longer be levied, and will be kept on hold, as the revenue minister has asked the collector to conduct a survey and make a fresh calculation as per the new rates. Till then, the old bills will not be sent.”

Anil Joseph, president, Perry Road Residents’ Association said, “NA tax is levied on agricultural lands near gaothans, converted into residential properties. It is an antiquated tax that has no relevance in modern times. There are no places in the Mumbai suburbs or the Island City where agriculture is carried out. This tax should be scrapped as it is archaic and irrelevant. The MLA would do well to fight to scrap this tax altogether. It serves no purpose but to harass suburban residents.”

Gautam Rao, a resident of Guzderbandh, Santacruz West, said, “Since interest will not be levied, the old rate is to be paid, which is fair. But the new rate, which is 0.05 per cent of the Ready Reckoner rate, should be revised every five or 10 years, like property tax. This NA tax has always been discriminatory against suburban residents. The growth rate is higher in the suburbs, the population is higher and traffic density has also increased. Anyway, suburban residents contribute more property tax than south Mumbai, so this tax should be waived completely.”

Shelar also said that he was seeking an amendment in section 44 of the Maharashtra Land Revenue Code (MLRC) (1966). “I will move a private member’s bill to amend this MLRC to completely withdraw NA taxes for the entire suburbs,” he added

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