TO WOO the urban middle class ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, the state government on Friday waived property tax for residential houses measuring up to 500 sq ft. The waiver will be applicable from January 1, 2019.
This was among the 16 decisions that the Cabinet took on Friday. Earlier this week, it had cleared 22 proposals.
Officials from the urban development department said that on July 6, 2017, the BMC had passed a proposal to waive the property tax for residential houses up to 500 sq ft and also provide a 60 per cent concession in property tax for houses between 501 and 700 sq ft. The proposal was then submitted to the state government.
“An amendment in the Mumbai Municipal Corporation-1888 was required to waive property tax for houses up to 500 sq ft in Mumbai. The state Cabinet on Friday gave the approval to amend the law. A bill will be tabled in the upcoming Assembly session,” said an official.
The official added that there is no need to amend the law to provide 60 per cent concessions in property tax for the houses between 501 and 700 sq ft.
“The civic body has the right to give concessions.”
The proposal of property tax waiver and concession was first announced by Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray during the Mumbai civic body polls in 2017. Yuva Sena president Aaditya Thackeray on Friday said that Sena’s promise has been fulfilled.
BMC officials said that around 14.98 lakh properties would benefit from the waiver. The civic body receives revenue of around Rs 350 crore from these properties, said an official.
In another decision, the Cabinet approved a slew of incentives for the self-redevelopment of registered cooperative housing societies on government, semi-government and private land.
“The local authorities will set up a single window system for giving required permissions or clearances to the self-redevelopment proposals of registered cooperative housing societies. All permissions will be given in six months. Besides, concessions will be given by the local authorities in floor space index, land premium and on the transfer of development rights,” said the official, adding that concessions would also be given in taxes such as urban land ceiling, GST, stamp duty and others.
“A policy or guidelines to select banks for raising funds will be finalised. The self-redevelopment process will have to be completed in three years. A committee headed by the additional chief secretary of the housing department has been set up to decide on the ratio and type of concessions to be provided,” the official said.
The members of the committee would include additional chief secretary (revenue), principal secretaries of urban development and cooperation departments and two housing experts. “The committee will also look at various suggestions with respect to the existing laws and regulations and suggest recommendations for effective implementation of the self-development process,” said the official.
Another official said that at present, a developer is appointed by housing cooperative societies for the redevelopment of the old and dilapidated buildings.
“But members of the cooperatives have little say in the redevelopment process, leading to delay in completion of the projects. The families suffer by staying in transit camps for several years and don’t even receive rent from the developer on time. The self-redevelopment proposals will help the members of the societies to have full control on the project,” the official added.