Bengaluru

Why levy property tax during lockdown, asks mall owner

A file photo of Mantri Mall at Malleswaram in Bengaluru. The petitioner has pointed out that malls were closed for 18 days in the financial year 2019-20, for 69 days in 2020-21, and 102 days during 2021-22.   | Photo Credit: SUDHAKARA JAIN

The owner of a mall in the city has moved the High Court of Karnataka questioning the levy and demand for payment of property tax on malls even during the lockdown when the malls were compulsorily asked to shut all their business activities.

G.T. Cinemas Pvt. Ltd., Bengaluru, which has built and operating ‘G.T. World Mall’ has sought a direction to the State government and the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) not to demand and collect property tax for the period when the mall was asked to close down in view of the lockdown.

Justice M. Nagaprasanna, before whom the petition came up for hearing, adjourned further hearing till August 27 after ordering issue of notice to the government and the BBMP.

Meanwhile, the court granted liberty to the petitioner to move the court in the event the BBMP takes any coercive action for non-payment of property tax.

The petitioner has pointed out that malls were closed in Bengaluru for 18 days in the financial year 2019-20, for 69 days in 2020-21, and 102 days during the present financial year of 2021-22.

“When a property within is not even permitted to operate by the operation of law and is, therefore, compulsively shut down, the levy of a municipal tax on that property even for the period of the lockdown would be a tax that is essentially confiscatory in nature as the return from that property during the period of the lockdown would have halted completely,” the petitioner has contended while seeking a direction to the BBMP not to demand property tax for the lockdown period.

When the property tax is levied on the basis of use of the land/building, the authorities cannot levy or demand property tax when they compulsorily stop such usage of building or land, the petitioner has claimed.

The petitioner has said that the authorities are silent on its representation seeking exception from payment of property tax for the lockdown period.


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Printable version | Sep 20, 2021 7:14:53 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/why-levy-property-tax-during-lockdown-asks-mall-owner/article35690358.ece

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