For now, Panvel residents need not pay retrospective property tax | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times
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For now, Panvel residents need not pay retrospective property tax

May 22, 2024 07:50 AM IST

The Supreme Court (SC) has, in its interim order of May 17, directed Panvel property owners to pay their property tax dues from assessment year 2021-22 onwards to the Panvel Municipal Corporation (PMC) by June 29

Panvel: The Supreme Court (SC) has, in its interim order of May 17, directed Panvel property owners to pay their property tax dues from assessment year 2021-22 onwards to the Panvel Municipal Corporation (PMC) by June 29. The SC had in its interim order of April 29 given a similar order, but the year 2020-2021 was mentioned in it leading to confusion, which it has now clarified as not applicable.

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HT Image

The Kharghar Cooperative Housing Societies Federation that appealed against the tax levied by PMC has welcomed the order stating that it will ask the residents to pay the dues and demanded that the civic body issue revised the bills as per the SC order. Commander (Retd) S H Kalawat, general secretary of the federation, said, “This is a major victory for us. PMC first issued the bills to us in 2021 and we have been ready to pay since then. We are opposing the retrospective effect that the civic body is burdening us with.”

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Kalawat explained that while the civic body is demanding tax from 2016 onwards after PMC was formed, it was rendering little civic service in our areas then. “We had been paying charges to CIDCO, the nodal agency. This amounts to double taxation. Also, as per the Municipal Corporation Act, before February 20 every year, the general body and standing committee have to approve the rate of tax, which PMC didn’t do from 2016 to 2021,” he said.

Speaking on the deliberations in the court, Kalawat said, “PMC wanted the court to order the property tax payment from assessment year 2016 onwards pending the appeal. We explained to the court that the question before the Court is about retrospective taxation and, therefore, an equitable order be made in the case. The court did not accept PMC’s demand and asked for the tax to be paid from the year 2021 onwards only. This is 95% win for us as the retrospective angle has been accepted by the court.”

The federation’s lawyer is writing to the municipal commissioner to revise the bills as per SC order. A meeting of the property holders will soon be held, advising them to pay.

When contacted, municipal commissioner Dr Prashant Rasal said, “We are preparing the revised bills from 2021 onwards as per SC order and they will be issued by this month end. The tax demand from 2016 to 2021 has not been rejected and will be decided separately by the court. We are confident of a favourable decision.”

PMC had a record-breaking property tax revenue of 360 crore in 2023-24. The total collection now stands at 750 cr of the 1,500 cr demand it had raised including retrospective taxation. PMC has identified 3.5 lakh properties. Some 77,000 property owners have cleared their dues leaving 2.80 lakh defaulters.

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