Nashik property owners protest against wrong tax bills
The civic administration’s tall claims of having verified 30,000 new properties out of the 69,000 seem to be hogwash as many property owners have alleged that they have received pre-dated and inflated bills.
The NMC has started sending notices to 30,000 property owners over tax dues since Thursday. Some owners alleged that they have received inflated bills as they have been asked to clear dues even before they had bought properties.
“We bought the house in 2016 but got property tax bills since 2012. Our bill is Rs 85,000. Some bills had flat number as zero and there is no such flat in our housing society,” said Naina Ingle, a resident of Kamatwade.
Another resident of the same society was charged Rs 5,000 more than others. The residents have been receiving water and electricity bills since 2016 and they have proof of the building plan sanction date.
Local residents said that many buildings near their houses that were completed around the same time were also issed pre-dated property tax bills, even before they started living there.
They raised the authenticity of the property survey as their building had 20 flats but only 19 bills were sent and also there was no flat no 0.
Another resident, Sangita Wani, said, “No one came for any survey in our building. My brother resides close by in an old building but his bill is not exorbitant.”
Asked about the grievances, deputy municipal commissioner Mahesh Doiphode said, “We are hearing a lot about discrepancies in the survey, which was conducted a couple of years ago. Unless anyone complains, we cannot do anything. If people appeal along with proofs we will send our persons for spot verification.”
Credai president Umesh Wankhede said that more than 200 people had objected to the bills and that builders were constantly receiving calls from citizens since Thursday.
“There is a provision in Maharashtra Regional Town Planning Act that buildings that did not get completion certificates can be issued seven years’ pre-dated tax. The NMC made a big blunder as many buildings were not in existence seven years ago. The notices are all wrong. We will meet the new civic chief to discuss the issue,” he said.
Former NMC official Mohan Ranade, a town planning expert, said that spot verification and measurement by the civic body is needed before levying tax.
“Many people complained to me that young college students came for survey and measured only one flat, that too diagonally and not the length-breadth. All flats are not same.”.
A civic employee who issues bills to citizens said that the residents refused to take bills after seeing the exorbitant amount.
“The bills are as high as Rs 1.20 lakh. We have to convince them to sign on it. Some buildings have got completion yet shown as unauthorised,” he said.
The official said that in some cases, bills are charged since 2015 when there was only land. “In some old buildings, tax has not been levied for 15 years despite follow-up by residents. The new tax rate has been imposed with effect from 2012 while it should be from 2018.”