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

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - NAVI MUMBAI - G Mo­hi­ud­din Jeddy ht­for­nav­i­mum­bai@hin­dus­tan­times.com

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.”

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