Officials worried about shortfall in property tax

They contend that BBMP polls affected meeting of collection target

Reason: They are getting jittery about the litany of demands and questions on the Palike finances, which the corporators are bound to raise.

According to BBMP officials, the Palike has lost nearly Rs 150 crore in property tax collections. The shortfall in meeting the property tax collection target was on account of the BBMP polls, they contend.

BBMP, which had hoped to make Rs 1,100 crore revenue through property tax, has been able to accrue only Rs 790 crore in tax collections for the year 2009-10. The Palike estimated that roughly 8.5 lakh property owners paid their taxes for the previous year, while the total number of properties in the City is around 14 lakh.

The BBMP has issued over three lakh notices to property owners who defaulted on their payment of taxes for the years 2008-09 and 2009-10. The Palike has now kept the same target of Rs 1,100 crore for the fiscal 2010-11.

AROs to collect taxes

To further ease the process of property tax payment, the Palike has decided to empower Assistant Revenue Officers (ARO) to collect taxes in their offices. “All the 52 ARO offices will be connected with our server by Tuesday evening. This would mean that citizens can approach the ARO offices and pay their taxes by filling the appropriate forms,” informed a Palike official.

The BBMP hoping that the coming few days, more citizens will come forth to pay their taxes on or before April 30 to avail the five percent rebate.

However, lack of co-ordination and unpreparedness has added to citizens’ woes in paying property taxes at Bangalore One centres.

According to BBMP officials, Bangalore One officials were given the required data as early as April 1, on day one of the property tax collection.

“For reasons best known to them, they seem to be unprepared to collect taxes. The software should have been tested and kept ready, as there were not many changes made to it from previous year of 2009-10,” said the official.

The BBMP has regularly been receiving complaints from citizens on account of transaction failure or missing names from the property owners list.

“We are trying to address the problems as and when it comes,” said the official.

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