The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) plans to hike property tax for both residential and non-residential units by 15% to 30% in a bid to generate revenue for the cash-strapped civic agency.
At a meeting on Friday to explore avenues to mobilise resources, BBMP administrator Gaurav Gupta and commissioner N Manjunath Prasad instructed officials to ensure tax compliance. Two major strategies discussed were bringing unmapped properties into the tax net and hiking property tax between 15% and 30%.
“The tax revision was due last year, but not done due to administrative reasons. There is a proposal to revise it this year. It’s up to the administrator and government to take the final call,” said Basavaraju, BBMP special commissioner (revenue).
According to the Karnataka Municipal Corporation Act, 1976, BBMP is supposed to revise property tax once in three years and officials at the meeting brought this legal provision to the notice of higher authorities. Sources said officials made it clear that achieving revenue targets fixed for this year would not be possible without hiking property tax. “Apart from the KMC Act, the government of India’s advisory mandates the civic agency to revise property tax periodically. There is a proposal on this and we’ll take a decision at the right time,” Gupta said.
Another game-changer being proposed is an amendment to the KMC Act that will enable BBMP officials to attach immovable properties of tax defaulters.
“The commissioner made the proposal to incorporate provision of the Land Revenue Act into the KMC Act so that BBMP is empowered to attach properties and auction them to recover tax dues. We approved it and the proposal has been sent to the government for its nod,” Gupta said.
BBMP recovers ₹10.5cr tax dues from construction company
hile BBMP sees the potential Wto raise Rs 5,500 crore through property tax, the civic agency has never made more than Rs 3,000. In 2019-20, for instance, property tax collection was Rs 2,669 crore against the target of Rs 3,500 crore. BBMP collected Rs 2040 crore by September-end, while it is mandated to achieve a similar target fixed last year.
The laxity of BBMP officials is the cause of low tax collection and accumulated dues have piled up to Rs 992 crore. While 17.9 lakh properties have been mapped in BBMP limits, more than 50,000 property owners have defaulted on paying tax. Big corporates are among defaulters and their dues range from Rs 10 lakh to Rs 10 crore. Basavaraju said BBMP has launched a tax collection drive and collected Rs 592 crore arrears so far.
A reputed construction company that owns shopping malls in the city is among major defaulters. BBMP officials visited the company on Thursday and recovered Rs 10.5 crore towards tax dues.