Update on March 12, 2019: The government of Maharashtra, on March 1, 2019, announced an amnesty scheme with respect to the penalty that can be levied for insufficient payment of stamp duty made in the past. The scheme proposes to limit the penalty payable on certain transactions to 10% of the deficient stamp duty, instead of the 400% which can be levied in normal course by the government. The scheme applies to all the transactions of sale or transfer of tenancy rights, of residential houses within Maharashtra and is available only for documents that have been executed on or before December 31, 2018. The application, along with the instrument and supporting documents, has to be made within a period of six months from March 1, 2019, i.e., by August 31, 2019, the period up to which the scheme will remain open.
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), on April 12, 2018, announced that personalised property tax bills will be issued, to the people who own flats in those buildings that will get the Occupancy Certificates (OCs) from this month. The civic body also said that under the new property tax system, those who pay the tax promptly, will get ‘early bird’ discounts.
“Those who own flats in the buildings whose OCs will be issued from this month, will get individual property tax bills. However, property tax of the unsold flats and common areas, will be paid by the builder,” a senior BMC official said. At present, the civic body issues a common property tax bill to a housing society, which then collects the tax dues from the flat owners and pays the amount to the civic body. “The main problem with the current system, is that when a member or members fail to pay the property tax, then, all the members are penalised. Now, in the personalised property tax billing system, this will stop,” the official added.
A few years back, the BMC had allowed those flat owners to pay the bills individually, who had opted for it. Such flat owners need to take an NOC from their housing society and file an application with the civic body, he said. A statement issued by the BMC said that currently, owners of 28 lakh flats/galas located across 2.75 lakh buildings in the city, pay property tax. Of these 28 lakh flat owners, 1.42 lakh property holders are paying property bills individually.
Property expert and advocate Dharmin Sampat, lauded the BMC for the move, saying that it will provide immense help to those who pay the tax promptly. Sampat, who is the honorary secretary of the Co-operative Societies Residents, Users and Welfare Association, said, “Innovative schemes like early bird payment, shall attract tax payers to make prompt payments.”
A developer and former president of the National Real Estate Development Council (NAREDCO), Sunil Mantri, said, “Collecting property tax individually is a win-win situation for everyone – be it a developer, the BMC or a flat owner. Now, this system will ensure faster payment of the taxes, which, ultimately generates higher revenue for the civic body. Besides this, it will give mental and personal satisfaction to the property owner.”