The BMC has chosen to auction off 67 attached properties to close the loophole for property tax defaulters. But, since last year, numerous attempts to appoint a company to handle the property valuation and auction have fallen short. The civic council has now begun the process of appointing a company to look for the investments and real estate owned by defaulters.
The second-highest source of revenue for the BMC
is property tax, which brings in 24% of total revenue. As a result of the pandemic's severe cash shortage, the local government began taking action against people who didn't pay their property taxes. In the last five years, the BMC's assessor and collection department has attached 2,875 properties; 67 of those will be auctioned off in the first round. The procedure is stalled, though, while looking for a qualified organization to conduct the auction.
"We have decided to name three expert firms to conduct an auction, hunt for additional investments made by defaulters, and value the properties. The selection procedure for the agency is now underway. According to a senior civic official, the third agency to be selected would have to look for immovable assets registered in the names of the defaulters and gather documentation proving their ownership of those properties as well as their interests and directorships.
Property taxes owed by the 67 defaulters total up to 267.88 crores and they also owe a penalty of 87.31 crores. The department has attached business galas, office furnishings, opulent cars, and even home stuff from defaulters in addition to open plots and buildings. The civic organization previously staged an auction in 2012. According to civic sources, the BMC has an aim of collecting 6,000 crores in 2022–2023, but as of March 22, it had only received 4,767 crores.