Tax rebate to commercial firms sparks debate

Representative image. (Photo/Pixabay)

The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike’s (BBMP) Council meeting on Thursday saw councillors accusing officials of inefficiency over property tax rebate to highly commercial firms in the city.

BJP corporator Padmanabha Reddy alleged irregularities in the Total Station Survey that was meant to prevent miscalculation of property measurement in self-assessment scheme. “Evasion of property tax by giant commercial establishments was unearthed earlier. Instead of recovering unpaid taxes from them, the Joint Commissioner of East Zone has deducted the amount, resulting in a loss of Rs 63.31 crore.”

Reddy further said, “Notices were issued to eight commercial establishments over unpaid taxes after which the property owners filed a petition to Joint Commissioner G M Ravindra. He heard the petitions and deducted the tax amounts unlawfully, and has also given exemptions on the measurement of properties.”

Former mayor Manjunath Reddy echoed Padmanabha Reddy and demanded action against Ravindra for causing loss to BBMP.

Replying to the corporators’ demands, BBMP Commissioner B H Anil Kumar said, “Soon after the complaint came to me, I collected the details and files of all these properties for which exemptions and deductions were given. I have assigned a special commissioner to submit a report on the matter. Action will be initiated against Joint Commissioner Ravindra based on the report.”

He also said a white paper on the Total Station Survey done in the last four years will be published shortly.

Star hotel status

Joint Commissioner Ravindra and councillors engaged in a debate over star status to Hotel Ashoka, with Ravindra saying the establishment didn’t actually possess one.

“A higher tax amount was fixed for the hotel, thinking that it had star status. But I had to deduct the amount later as it does not have the status yet,” Ravindra said.

In that case, the hotel must have been fooling people, corporator Umesh Shetty retorted. “An enquiry should be initiated into the matter,” he said.


The corporators also raised the issue of potholes and non-motorable roads in the city. The BBMP chief said a deadline of November 10 has been set and the target will be met by that time. “We will also hold continuous inspections. Action will be initiated against erring officials; contractors failing to fill potholes will also be blacklisted,” he said.

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