With little over three months left for the end of the 2018-19 financial year, the civic body is leaving no stone unturned to mop up property tax. Owners who have defaulted on their payments are a priority.
M. Shivaraju, Ruling Party Leader in the BBMP council, said revenue officials have been directed to collect dues from the defaulters to improve property tax collections this financial year. Assistant Revenue Officers (AROs) have been directed to identify the top 50 defaulters in their jurisdictions, and get the owners to clear their dues.
AROs, whose jurisdiction will cover more than one ward, have been instructed to identify the top 10 defaulters and make public announcements in front of the properties. “The AROs, accompanied by the zonal commissioners if needed, can go to the buildings and make announcements about the pending tax, apart from requesting the property owners to clear the dues,” said Mr. Shivaraju, adding that this could not be construed as shaming the owners.
“Earlier, BBMP officials would beat drums in front of the properties to shame the owners. This time around, it is different. If property owners do not pay up, the AROs have been instructed to paste the demand notice on their premises,” he said.
Sources in the revenue department said the BBMP, as per the Karnataka Municipal Corporations Act, 1976, can issue up to three demand notices to defaulters, following which it can issue a seizure notice. After the seizure notice is issued, the BBMP can seize movable properties of the defaulters.
BBMP Joint Commissioner (Revenue) M. Venkatachalapathy had recently issued a circular directing AROs to issue seizure notices to defaulters after several rounds of review meetings revealed that officials had not issued any notice so far though they could as per the KMC Act.
Incentivising revenue officials
The BBMP is thinking of incentivising revenue officials who collect the most property tax in their jurisdictions. Sources said that officials who are able to meet their targets will be honoured during the Kempegowda Day celebrations.