BBMP to levy land transport cess on property owners

BBMP to levy land transport cess on property owners

The cash-strapped Bruhat Bengaluru Mahangara Palike (BBMP) seems to be in no mood to give up on an opportunity to fill its coffers. Pinching the people where it hurts the most, the BBMP has decided to levy yet another cess to augment its revenue.

At a time when Bengalureans are already paying a hefty property tax, the BBMP has proposed to levy two per cent ‘Land Transport Cess’ on property owners across the city. Enabling the civic body to levy the cess, the BBMP Council will take a decision on Tuesday to submit a proposal to the state government to amend the Karnataka Municipal Act (KMC).

Currently, the BBMP has been levying four different cesses — library, labour, garbage and beggar. Adding to the list, a new cess on land transport will be collected and handed over to the land transport department, according to sources in the BBMP.

However, the decision has met with intense criticism with the opposition pouncing on the ruling Congress-JDS coalition.

“This is not the first time that such a cess has been contemplated. In 2014, they had tabled the same resolution and we had rejected it. Now yet again they have brought the issue. There are 19 lakh properties across Bengaluru. If they collect property tax from all the owners, it would suffice everything. We will not allow this to be passed,” Padmanabha Reddy, the opposition leader in the BBMP told DH.

Interestingly, the BBMP council in 2014 had rejected the resolution citing that it would be an additional burden on the people.

Surprisingly, the same administration has yet again prepared a proposal to amend the KMC act facilitating levying of new cess.

When asked about the move, M Mahadev, chairperson of standing committee on taxes, said he was not aware of the issue and sought time to comment on the issue.