Those of you holding vacant sites will now have to shell out three times more property tax from this year. The ‘cleaning charges' to rid such sites of weeds and undergrowth, proposed by the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), are expected to fetch an additional revenue of Rs. 50 crore. These are some of the new initiatives by the cash-strapped BBMP to shore up revenues.

Through the proposed new taxes/charges and changes in its policies in the 2011-2012 budget, the civic authority hopes to raise more than Rs. 1,000 crore.

It is estimated that 20 per cent of the properties in Bangalore are vacant sites, and owners are not bothered to keep them clean and weed-free, said G. Manjunath Raju, Chairman of Standing Committee for Taxation and Finance, who read out the budget on Thursday.

Boost for RWH

However, the budget provides some relief to property owners who have implemented rainwater harvesting (RWH). To encourage citizens to adopt RWH, a 2 per cent rebate in property tax has been mooted.

Serviced apartments, now deemed as commercial properties, will attract one and a half times the normal property tax.

Some 10,000 serviced apartments will come under this head, fetching about Rs. 50 crore. Schools, colleges (unaided), choultries and hospitals will also be taxed as per commercial rates.

Property tax

With all these, the total revenue from property tax is expected to reach Rs. 1,500 crore.

Solid waste management handling charges will also be levied on choultries and hotels, which are the major contributors of bulk solid waste. This new charge is expected to fetch Rs. 25 crore annually.

Policy changes

BBMP expects to raise Rs. 780 crore annually through the new optical fibre cable (OFC) policy by charging ground rent on the telecom companies that have drawn the OFCs across the city.

It also hopes to net revenue of Rs. 150 crore by bringing in changes in the advertisement policy in which it hopes to sell all the ad hoardings through tender-cum-auction, besides auctioning advertisement rights on private properties.

Keywords: new taxes

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