The controversial Adarsh housing society in Colaba is embroiled in another battle with the civic body over the property tax dues.
The society has refused to pay the Rs1.14 crore property tax dues as no one lives in the 31-storey building, which is already mired in a legal tangle.
The society has written to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) seeking exemption. It has told the civic body not levy property tax on them as they are not using any municipal services such as water and electricity and the building is unoccupied.
Officials from the BMC’s assessor and collector department said the total outstanding property tax amount of the society is Rs1.14 crore. “We have levied property tax on the plot and not on the building since it does not have an occupation certificate (OC),” said a senior official from the department, adding that the building must have an OC to levy tax on the entire building.
“Since it does not have OC, we have not assessed the building to levy tax as per the new capital value-based tax system,” he added.
The MMRDA revoked the building’s OC on October 30, 2010. Subsequently, the BEST disconnected the electricity supply on October 31, 2010, and civic body discontinued the water supply on November 2, 2010.
“As occupancy certificate issued by the MMRDA has been withdrawn, the property is not in its existing condition of being beneficial occupation (sic),” reads the letter signed by the society secretary.
The housing society secretary, RC Thakur, said they would pay taxes if they are allowed to live in the building. “The property is under litigation. We are not using any municipal services such as water and electricity. We have asked the civic body not to levy any property tax till the services are restored,” he told dna.
After receiving the letter from Adarsh housing society, the officials of the assessor and collector department inspected the building. “It has been found that the building is unoccupied and has no water and electricity supply. An inspection report has been prepared but the decision is yet to be taken. We will seek legal opinion to decide on the matter,” said a senior official of the department.
Saying that the civic body can levy property tax on the society, another senior civic official said the property tax dues are unlikely to be waived off.
“As per rules, we can levy tax on the plot owned by society or a private party and on a building in city,” he said.
Rajiv Jalota, additional municipal commissioner in charge of property tax, was unavailable for comment.
Tower of trouble
The MMRDA revoked the building’s occupational certificate on October 30, 2010. The BEST disconnected the electricity supply on October 31, 2010, and civic body discontinued the water supply on November 2, 2010. The housing society secretary said they would pay taxes if they are allowed to live in the building