New property tax payment rule creates confusion on Day One

New property tax payment rule creates confusion on Day One

Citizens find it 'complicated, 'misleading'; helpline out of order

New property tax payment rule creates confusion on Day One

Confusion and chaos prevailed on Monday, the first day of the revised property tax collection in the city. 

The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) had announced that unlike last financial year, its revenue offices would not accept property tax payment this time.

Citizens will instead have to pay online or at any of the 175 branches of Canara Bank. The civic body not only increased the property tax but also changed the zonal classification. 

The experience was, however, anything but pleasant for many citizens. Some found the online payment system complicated, while others complained that the helpline for tax-related issues wasn’t working. 

Vishal Shenvi, a resident of Indiranagar who tried paying the tax online, said he was shocked when the tax calculator indicated that he had to pay Rs 30,000.

“Previously, I paid Rs 4,000 per year. But this year, the hike is shockingly steep,” he said. He also complained that he had to fill in “unnecessary” details like surface area, car parking area, etc. 

Taxpayers also complained about “unclear and misleading” classification of roads into zone, subdivision and ward. Residents of Chinnappanahalli, Doddanekkundi, southeast Bengaluru, said the BBMP website put their locality under zone ‘B’, but Chinnappanahalli main road came under ‘zone C’. 

Social media was abuzz with the hassles caused by the new tax structure. While one citizen said the tax collection system was complicated, Ramnarayan Lohiyam, a resident of Mahadevapura, complained that the new procedure wasn’t letting him pay tax through the Property Identification Number (PID). 

Canara Bank branches saw huge rush. The Sunkenahalli branch set up two extra counters as more than 50 people came up to pay property tax, said a staff member. More and more people are likely to flock to the bank’s branches in the coming days as the BBMP offers a 5% rebate for those who pay up by the end of April. 

Some people said they faced problems as there was no Canara Bank branch in their locality. Among them was Subhash Shetty, a resident of Nagasandra. “The bank branch is at least three km from our locality, so it’s difficult for us to pay tax. I wish we could pay tax at a BBMP office itself,” he said. 

The BBMP helpline (080 22660000), which was set up to address taxpayers’ grievances about property tax payment, was out of order when Deccan Herald dialled it around 3 pm on Monday. 

 

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