Property owners up against BBMP's proposed tax hike

Property owners up against BBMP's proposed tax hike

Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP). DH file photo

The proposal by the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) to increase property tax has triggered an outrage among property owners who have now vociferously opposed the move.

The BBMP wants to impose a hike of 25% to residential properties and 30% to commercial projects from April 2019 onwards. A proposal regarding this has been sent by the BBMP Commissioner N Manjunath Prasad to the standing committee of Tax and Finance for approval.

This move has evoked a lot of responses from residents and property owners. Many property owners are of the view that BBMP has failed to provide basic infrastructure, including proper roads. Anger is also mounting as there seems to be no swift resolution to the solid waste management problem across the city.

Moreover, there are about 19 lakh residential properties registered as tax compliant in the city limits. In the 2017-18 financial year, the civic body collected Rs 1,777 crore against an estimated Rs 2,600 crore. This data suggests a gap in the tax collection mechanism itself.

Nagesh Aras, a resident from Bellandur said, “The property tax itself is not being collected properly. We do not know how much of revenue is being generated through the property tax. There are a lot of other issues concerning solid waste management and poor condition of roads. How can they go on extracting money from houses, when most of them do not even have proper occupancy certificates?”

The residents of Whitefield in Mahadevapura seem particularly agitated. They claim that they have been neglected the most by the civic body. According to them, though many residents have been regular taxpayers, they have seen little or no development in terms of infrastructure or amenities. 

A member of Whitefield Rising, who did not wish to be named said, “This proposal to hike property tax is another foolish move to harass citizens. BBMP cannot get streetlights, drainage or footpaths right. It has no right to levy a higher tax.”

“We should protest. There should not be any hike in property tax for Whitefield at least. In fact, given the condition of the roads, street lighting, traffic, drainage and other endless issues, tax must be reduced for us,” Biplab Das, another member of Whitefield Rising commented on Facebook.

Another member even suggested that the citizens must be able to penalise the BBMP for their poor show. “Isn’t there any penalty citizens can levy if the BBMP does not perform in a given year? Can it be adjusted while paying the next round of property tax?,” he commented on Facebook.

However, the proposal is yet to receive the BBMP council’s nod and the state government’s approval.