Some officials blamed the shortfall on election duty
The Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) is unlikely to meet the property tax target this year too. Officials claimed that with revenue officials posted on election duty, there is not much focus on property tax collection.
As property tax is one of the main revenues for the civic body, the target was set at Rs. 2,000 crore during the past two financial years, but the officials concerned failed to meet the target.
According to highly placed sources in the BBMP, only Rs, 1,310 crore has been collected in 2013-14 and another Rs. 50 crore may be added to it by the time the financial year ends.
Sources said that revenue officials have been overburdened with election work for nearly a month now. “They have been involved in the voters’ list preparation, which is a continuous process. With this, the revenue officials have not been able to concentrate much on property tax collections,” the source conceded. The source added that all government officials have to mandatorily attend to election work as per under the Representation of People’s Act, 1951.
Besides that, though the BBMP took several initiatives to improve tax collection, none has yielded the desired result. One such special drive was aimed at collecting Rs. 800 crore property tax pending since 2008-09.
Now that another fiscal is going to end, BBMP has come up with a proposal to establish a cell dedicated to collecting tax from owners of high-value properties the next fiscal. And, officials hope to collect Rs. 3,000 crore from this source alone.