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Mumbai: BMC to auction 67 properties of tax defaulters

Free Press Journal logo Free Press Journal 23-03-2023
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Mumbai: Tightening noose around property tax defaulters, the BMC has decided to auction 67 attached properties. However, the efforts to appoint an agency to carry out the valuation and auction of the properties have failed several times from last year. The civic body has now started a process to appoint an agency that will search for the immovable properties and investments of the defaulters.

Property tax, which accounts for 24% of revenue, is the second-highest source of income for the BMC. After facing a severe cash crunch during the pandemic, the civic body started cracking down on property tax defaulters. The BMC's assessor and collection department has attached 2,875 properties in the last five years, Out of them, 67 properties will be auctioned in the first phase. However, the process is stuck in search of a professional agency that can carry out the auction.

Three agencies appointed for valuation of properties

“We have decided to appoint three professional agencies for the valuation of the properties, searching for other investments of the defaulters and the one to conduct an auction. The process to appoint the agency is underway. The third agency to be appointed will have to search for immovable properties registered in the name of the defaulters, collecting documentary evidence of ownership of those properties and interests and directorships of the defaulters, said a senior civic official.

The 67 defaulters have a property tax pending up to ₹267.88 crore and penalty of ₹87.31 crore. Other than open plots and buildings, the department has also attached commercial galas, office furniture, luxurious cars and even household items from the defaulters. Earlier, the civic body held an auction in 2012. Meanwhile, the BMC has set a target to collect ₹6,000 crore in the year 2022-23, while it has collected ₹4,767 crore till March 22, said the civic sources.

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