Bengaluru

BBMP mulls granting civic chief power to enhance property tax

As per the Karnataka Municipal Corporations Act, 1976, property tax rates have to be enhanced every three years.   | Photo Credit: Sudhakara Jain

To ensure that property tax rates are enhanced on time, the civic body is exploring the possibility of vesting the power to approve the increase in tax rates to the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike Commissioner. Sources in the civic body said that this proposal has come up for discussion in a few forums.

A senior official in the civic body’s Revenue Department said that as per the Karnataka Municipal Corporations Act, 1976, property tax rates have to be enhanced every three years.

“There are different interpretations… while some say the Commissioner can approve the hike in tax, there are others who say that the tax revision may be approved only by the elected body first and later by the State government. Since 2008, the civic body has been seeking approval of the BBMP council and then the State government,” the official said.

However, the BBMP council and State government have not been approving the proposal to revise tax rates. After 2008-09, the tax rates were revised in 2015-16. Though BBMP Commissioners had tabled proposals to hike tax rates, they were all deferred.

Property tax is one of the largest revenue sources for the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP). Though the property tax rates have to be enhanced every three years, it seldom is approved by the elected body for various reasons.

With the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the BBMP’s coffers have been running low, despite collection of around ₹2,060 crore in property tax.

Top 100 defaulters owe ₹131 crore

Meanwhile, the Revenue Department has drawn up a list of top 100 defaulters of property tax in the city, who owe the civic body nearly ₹131 crore. In all, the BBMP has to collect arrears amounting to ₹650 crore from property owners who have not paid tax for more than one year, sources said.

Though there are over 19.8 lakh properties in the city, many are yet to be brought under the property tax net. So far this fiscal, the BBMP has been able to collect ₹2,060 crore. To collect arrears, civic officials had issued nearly 22,000 warrants and notices to property owners, sources added.

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Printable version | Nov 24, 2020 10:02:18 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/bbmp-mulls-granting-civic-chief-power-to-enhance-property-tax/article32903459.ece

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