A year of failed revenue targets for BBMP?

Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike authorities have tried it all — from special drives to GIS-based surveys, yet the civic body is staring at a shortfall of over ₹500 crore in property tax collection for 2016–17.

Incidentally, the Union Finance Ministry’s Economic Survey 2017–18 quoted Bengaluru as a case study to show how the civic body collected only a mere 23.7% of the potential revenue from property tax in 2015–16.

The BBMP’s revenue targets have themselves been only a fraction of the potential revenue, GIS studies conducted by Janaagraha Centre for Citizenship and Democracy, which the Economic Survey quotes, have shown. However, the civic body has failed to collect even the modest targets it set.

While the shortfall in collection of property tax has been the biggest, the civic body has also failed to reach targets in other revenue streams too, with a total deficit of ₹1,168 crore. As on date, the BBMP has collected ₹2,422 crore in revenue against the target of ₹3,590 crore, sources said.

Focus on special drive

M.K. Gunashekhar, chairman, Taxation and Finance, BBMP, who is in the process of finalising the budget for 2017–18, said the focus for the next month would be on a special drive to collect property tax. “A total station survey of tech parks, malls and apartments, which is under way, is expected to settle several tax disputes. I have written to the Mayor to call for a special council meeting to exclusively discuss property tax issues, where we will announce all major defaulters,” he said.

He added that the shortfall in revenue collection had nothing to do with demonetisation as property tax was not collected in cash.

Srikanth Vishwanathan of Janaagraha Centre for Citizenship and Democracy said though the tax collections were better than the previous years, the property tax targets were lower than the real potential. He said it was time to set aggressive revenue targets for the civic body. The State government should devolve other taxes such as motor vehicle tax, stamps and registrations and entertainment tax to the civic body, he added.

Budget outlay expected to be ₹10,000 cr.

The outlay of the upcoming BBMP budget is expected to be over ₹10,000 crore. BBMP Commissioner N. Manjunath Prasad recently submitted a draft budget to the standing committee on Taxation and Finance.

M.K. Gunashekhar, chairman, Taxation and Finance, BBMP, told The Hindu that there would be no revision of property tax or tax zones this time. He, however, said a policy decision on reintroduction of pay and park system in the city — a proposal pending for over two years — would be taken in view of increasing the BBMP’s revenue base.

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Printable version | May 22, 2022 7:12:46 pm |