Officials on poll duty, people struggle to pay taxes

Representative image

As the last date to avail 5% rebate on property tax is nearing, many taxpayers at the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) offices or BangaloreOne centres are unable to pay up since most officials are deputed on election duty. 

April 30 is the last date to avail the rebate.  

A senior BBMP official said, “Almost 80% of revenue officers are deputed on election duty and this has become a problem.”

Ashok M R, an assistant revenue officer of Murugeshpalya ward in Konena Agrahara said, “We are managing. Our electoral roll work will be over by Wednesday evening and things should be fine after this.”

“We understand people take time off from work to pay taxes. We are trying to ensure that they are not turned away,” said M N Narasimha Murthy, BBMP area tax inspector from Gandhinagar.

Naveen Raju, a resident MICO Layout in Arakere on Bannerghatta Road has been struggling to the pay property tax as the officers have been sending him back every time.

“For the last three days, I have been going to the BBMP office and officers there are telling me “Naale Banni” (come tomorrow), citing election duty. They must either extend the last date or make proper arrangements,” he tweeted.

People in Gandhinagar have to reach the office early to be able to pay the tax. “We handle the property tax work by 12.30 pm so that we can take up election work. We do entertain taxpayers in the second half of the day too, but the first half of the day is preferable,” said a senior BBMP officer. The Gandhinagar office is managing with just two officers. Every day, around 150-200 people turn up to pay property taxes in every ward office.

Since most BBMP officers are deputed on election duty, ward offices are managing with only one or two officers to handle both property taxes and voter enrolment.

BBMP commissioner N Manjunath Prasad said, “We have provided the online facility to ease the process and are also ensuring that people have no trouble paying the tax.”

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