Palike property tax collection turns into a trickle

The Lok Sabha elections and the acceptance of demand draft and cash as only mode of payment have hit the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike’s property tax collection drive this year.

The collections, which in April is usually between Rs 200 crore and Rs 250 crore, has slid to a measly Rs 84 crore this time.

With the entire Palike engaged in election duty, property tax collection has taken a backseat. The BBMP is the nodal agency to hold elections in Bangalore Urban district and its commissioner M Lakshminarayana is the district election officer.

‘No cheques’

An order that property taxes have to be paid through demand draft and not cheques is another reason for the sluggish pace of collection. The civic body is not collecting the tax through cheques this year, due to the fraud in previous years.

There have been instances of cheques being dishonoured and of tax collectors squandering the cash paid by defaulters. The payment of property tax has slowed down despite a five per cent concession for those who pay it before April 30.

No benefit of discount

There used to be long queues in front of the Palike’s collection centres, of people seeking to benefit from the discount. But this year, there is not much of a crowd.

Property owners having to buy and fill in forms again, despite there being no change in tax or measurement of property, is also a reason for the sluggish pace of tax payment.
N Mukund Rao, a Jayanagar resident, regrets the fact that he had to fill the form again.
He also questioned the logic behind accepting demand drafts only.

“Using dishonoured cheques as an excuse, the BBMP should not harass taxpayers,” he said.

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