Property tax: Early birds in no mood to wait for software fix

Property tax: Early birds in no mood to wait for software fix

Although the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) is yet to upgrade its software that would bring down the property tax hike to 20% for the residential and 25% for the commercial buildings, taxpayers seem to be in a hurry to pay the tax at an exorbitant rate.

The tax collection on Friday alone was Rs 20 crore from approximately 25,000 property owners, taking the total collection in April to Rs 295 crore.

After Mayor B N Manjunatha Reddy announced a capping on the tax hike, the tax collection has increased by Rs 125 crore. Yet, the collection in April 2016, as compared to the last year, is short of at least Rs 110 crore. The Palike had garnered approximately Rs 405 crore in April, 2015.

The main reason for the rush among the taxpayers is the lack of information among a good number of property owners about the capping on the tax hike and the extended early bird offer of 5% discount till May end. A Palike officer said, “This shows the popularity of our new tax collection software, which everyone has been criticising.”
BBMP Commissioner N Manjunath Prasad has assured that the new software restricting the hike to 20 and 25% will become operational by Monday.

Contact points reduced 

Till last year, the 170 contact points of the BBMP were the major source of property tax collection, which generated a revenue of approximately Rs 2,000 crore. Now, these contact points have been reduced to a mere help centres, generating challan for the BBMP tax collection. People will have to go to these contact points, get the three set of challans printed and then take it to the nearby Canara Bank branch to pay the tax.

Former deputy mayor S Harish said the Palike had set up these centres by spending Rs 42.5 crore, and the civic body further spends Rs 10 lakh on each centre annually. Due to the new arrangement, people are forced to rush from one place to another to pay their taxes.

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