Brace for hike in property, water taxes in three months
BETTER SERVICES Civic chief says he will use his powers to increase taxes if met with opposition
Navi Mumbai residents will have to pay higher property tax and water charges in three months.
Municipal commissioner Tukaram Mundhe, who is already on a collision course with the ruling NCP, has plans to increase taxes.
He said that if required, he will use the powers vested in him to raise the taxes if the elected representatives do not approve his proposal.
In 2005, NCP leader Ganesh Naik promised residents that there will be no increase in taxes in the city for the next 20 years, an assurance he has repeated in every election campaign.
Mundhe said, “To give services to the citizens, we need to spend and for that revenue is needed. While the civic body has several sources of revenue, property tax is the most significant source of income for any local body.”
Mundhe said, “For a population of 15 lakh people in this 21st century city, revenue is needed to provide efficient and improved services. We have to provide infrastructure and services such as pothole-free roads and 24x7 water supply and these can’t be provided free.”
Mundhe said that the NMMC is withdrawing 300 MLD from Morbe dam which is more than enough. “The consumption, however, is 250 litres per capita per day (LPCD) which is way above the norm. We charge at the same rate whether the consumption is 100 LPCD or 250 LPCD. There should be a basic rate and then increase as per consumption.”
Mundhe is confident of being able to convince the ruling party, who has promised people that there will be no increase in taxes for 20 years. “I believe they will give the sanction. If they do not, then I will use the powers that I have to ensure that the hike is effected,” he said.
The commissioner added, “I don’t think the people will oppose the hike if they get better services. Property tax has not been increased in years and we will have slabs for water charges.”
Stating that the planning was in an advanced stage, Mundhe said, “I have decided on the timeframe. We will prepare the proposals for property tax and water charges hike and present it to the general body in three months for approval.”