Bescom, Palike to track tax cheats
The BBMP will now be utilising the services of the Bangalore Electricity Supply Company (BESCOM) to track tax evaders in the City.
In a move that will have large repercussions on those trying to evade paying taxes to the Palike, BBMP Commissioner Shankarlinge Gowda on Wednesday told the Palike Council that a team under BBMP Additional Commissioner Manoj Kumar Meena will be verifying the RR numbers of households and trade units evading taxes.
“By identifying the power connections we will be able to ascertain those undervaluing their properties, or even evading the payment of taxes,” said Gowda. The response by the Commissioner came in the light of a detailed and extensive report that was brought before the Council by Yediyur Corporator N R Ramesh on how multi-storey buildings in the City were still not brought under the tax net. According to Ramesh, the total number of residential apartments in the City number upto 78 lakh sqft of built-up area which will provide a net sum of Rs 2,000 crore to the BBMP via property tax.
“The BBMP Revenue Department, while earning only about 1,100 crore through property tax, had failed to bring the multi-storey buildings under the property tax net due to their apathy,” he alleged.
Providing data on close to 335 builders registered under CREDAI and BRAI, the two builders’ associations functioning in the City, Ramesh said even if the BBMP discounts the number of CA sites, club houses and other amenities, the Palike will accrue Rs 1,500 crore through taxes levied only on these multi-storey buildings.
He said there were 9,500 buildings still under construction, that have not paid their taxes to the BBMP, thus amounting to an addition of 21 lakh sqft, to the existing 78 lakh sqft of multi-storey buildings.
The calculations were made by the Corporator taking into account only those buildings that have more than 18 flats in a group housing project.
He alleged that while the Greater Mumbai Corporation had filed close to 701 cases against reputed developers for violations in building plans in Bangalore, the Palike had failed to register even a single case of building plan violations.
“On collecting information from all the 335 builders on their projects in the City, completed or under construction, I have found that there are at least 25 cases of deviation from actual building plans. This itself will generate an additional revenue for the BBMP,” Ramesh said.
Responding to allegation over Palike’s inability in not pursuing initiatives to accrue more revenue, Gowda said that the Palike had already taken the initiative to interact with Bescom over identifying the number of trade and commercial units functioning in the City.
“While only 50,000 trade units have taken the licence from the BBMP, close to five lakh commercial connections have been provided by Bescom. We will act in similar fashion against the multi-storey buildings for identifying those who have undervalued or evaded paying property tax,” Gowda added.