Cong to protest hike in penalty

Former mayor M Ramachandrappa said that this was the first time such a heavy penalty has been imposed in Bangalore on defaulting property owners.

Decision to levy a penalty of 24 per cent was taken around one-and-half-year ago. At that time, the Palike could not introduce it because of indecision, which lasted for nearly ten months. The penalty is too high and comes at a time when the city is hit by recession. Thanks to the delayed decision on property taxes, people had to arrange tax amount for not only 2008-09, but also for the year 2009-10, all in a short span of three months.

Unheard of

“Penalty of 24 per cent is something which Bangaloreans had never experienced. Earlier, it used to be mere five per cent annually,” recalled Ramachandrappa.

If the tax is Rs 6,000, and is not paid until April next year, the amount will go up by Rs 1,400. The tax payers, even before they could get over the burden of paying tax for 2008-09, are forced to pay tax for the financial year 2009-10, starting from July 1.

Another Congress leader and former mayor P R Ramesh said the decision to hike the penalty was taken when the market conditions were feasible. A second thought over increasing the penalty amount is necessary considering the depressed market conditions. Many people have lost their jobs and are even unable to pay the EMIs and entire realty market is seeing a downward trend.

“I believe such decisions of increasing the penalty amount is a policy matter, which should have been taken by an elected body,” observed Ramesh.

In this regard the Congress has planned to stage a demonstration at the BBMP head office near Hudson Circle on Tuesday at 11 am.

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