By Accommodation Times News Services
Mumbai: Providing relief to even those property tax payers, who had not filed any writ petition the Bombay high court, in a further interim Order on 24th February 2014, has directed all property owners/tax-payers to go by the old regime and to pay 50%, of the differential amount; up from 25% announced in the earlier interim Order on 23/12/2013.
A bench of Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice M S Sanklecha in October admitted & clubbed various petitions, which challenged the validity of the new property tax structure introduced earlier this year. Under the new system, the tax is calculated on the basis of the capital value of a property, and the age of a building, its location and use are taken into account. Experts contested the new “flawed” system could push up the tax by 300% or more.
Property tax under the old regime was calculated according to the rateable value of a building, based on the expected reasonable rent it could attract. Writ Petitions by Property Owners Association, The Foundation for Medical Research, the Indian Hotels Co and a huge bunch of almost 40 other pleas flooded the HC. They all challenged the new property tax structure “unconstitutional, exorbitant and confiscatory”.
On December 23, the HC directed the state once again to file its reply. The BMC said it would file one by January 16.The HC adjourned the matter to January 29 but directed the petitioners to pay municipal taxes at the pre-amended rates and also the additional tax at 25% of the differential tax between the tax payable under the old and new regime. The BMC had filed its response to the writ petitions.
However, in the latest Order, the HC revised the additional differential tax to 50%, up by 25%, subject to the final outcome of the writ petitions .