BBMP goes loud to shame property tax defaulters

BBMP goes loud to shame property tax defaulters

Armed with loudspeakers, BBMP officials set out to issue notices to property tax defaulters. DH PHOTO/Srikanta Sharma R

BBMP officials are going door-to-door in the city's business hubs and shaming property tax defaulters by taking their names on public address systems right on their doorstep. 

The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) is trying its best to mop up revenue from property tax, as officials are struggling to meet the target of collecting Rs 3,200 crore this year.

"As of now, we have collected about Rs 2,500 crore, a part of which includes arrears from previous years. We have two more months to go. We want to achieve the target of Rs 3,200 crore from the this year's tax,” a senior official in the civic body said.

The corporation has to collect Rs 1,200 crore in property tax arrears. 

"We have started issuing legal notices to the defaulters, which has brought some changes. The defaulters are taking the issue seriously and some of them are paying up," another official said. 

On Wednesday, officials from the Shanthingar sub-division arrived at Brigade Road and the business hubs in autorickshaws and started taking the names of property tax defaulters. Well-known pubs, restaurants and other properties that had not paid tax were served legal notices. 

Officials said that in the vicinity of MG Road alone, over 60 properties had not paid the tax, which ranged from Rs 10,000 to Rs 6 lakh. 

Similar actions have been taken up at various places across the city. In RR Nagar, officials have made a list of defaulters and are following up with them. 

"We have a total of 50,089 defaulters, more than half of whom have not paid property tax for five to 11 years. From institutions to garment factories, the top five defaulters owe the BBMP anywhere between Rs 40 lakh and Rs 1.7 crore," a senior official said.

An official in the central office said the BBMP was still scratching the surface of the issue. "We have been able to bring only 55,000 houses into the property tax bracket this year. There are lakhs of properties which enjoy the amenities provided by the corporation but do not pay the tax. A thorough mapping is required to estimate their number,” the official said. 

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