Demand-Collection-Balance mechanism has been mooted to improve property tax collections in Bangalore.

Property tax is the major source of revenue for the cash-strapped Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP). While the revenue from property tax has been increasing over the past few years, the civic body is hoping to strengthen it further by re-introducing the Demand-Collection-Balance (DCB) system.

This decision was taken by BBMP Commissioner M. Lakshminarayan soon after the misappropriation of tax collected by three tax inspectors came to light.

A senior BBMP official told The Hindu that the DCB system was discontinued in 2002. “It is not clear why it was discontinued. However, it will soon be reintroduced and made mandatory at the tax inspector level.”

The city’s 16 lakh properties have been mapped by Geographical Information System (GIS).

However, many are not yet covered under the tax net. By reintroducing the DCB system, each tax inspector will have a record of number of properties under his/her jurisdiction (approximately 2,500) and those that have paid tax.

“With the DCB system in place, the tax inspector will know exactly what is due from the properties and will be able to raise a demand by issuing notices to defaulters. The system will make accounting easy and transparent,” the official said.

At present, the BBMP has been estimating the tax due. If all the properties that have been mapped by GIS are brought onto the DCB system, the civic body will be able to scientifically determine the tax that can be collected from these properties, besides covering more (properties) under the tax net.

The BBMP also hopes to assess the performance of the tax inspectors by monitoring the tax collections in their jurisdictions, the official said.

Meanwhile, the BBMP is working towards simplifying the payment mechanism for property tax and trade licences by making them more citizen-friendly.

Payment of tax may soon be possible through some nationalised banks, the official added.

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