GIS to help in identifying property tax defaulters

BANGALORE, JULY 24. In a democratic system, the collective participation of the masses in any activity was of paramount importance, the Mayor, P.R. Ramesh, said here today.

Speaking at an interactive meet organised by Janaagraha, he said the Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BMP) believed in transparency.

He said under the Self Assessment Scheme, the tax was collected on the rental value of the property. But according to the World Bank this was not a scientific basis of evaluation. Hence, the Capital Value System was thought of, he said.

The tax would be charged according to the registered value of the property as declared by the assessees, he said.

`No cut in taxes'

The Mayor made it clear that the BMP would not reduce taxes. Anil Kumar, president of Ward 68 Citizens' Federation, Ejipura, said the BMP could increase its revenues from property tax by Rs. 300 crores.

The citizens offered help in the BMP's tax collection drive and urged it to plough back a part of the increased revenue into the wards. The Mayor welcomed the suggestion.

Mr. Ramesh said Rs. 2 crores had been set aside to replace fences around government buildings. He said the Geographical Information System (GIS) would soon be in place which would help in identifying property tax defaulters and increasing revenue collection.

He promised the citizens that ward-level information about properties in wards 64, 72, and 73 would be made available to the public by August 30.

Mr. Ramesh said the BMP at best could cut the basic amenities of citizens who did not pay tax, but it could not attach their properties.

Among the 200-odd participants were representatives from residents' associations, federations, and senior citizens.

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