Demand in BBMP for bringing state, Central govt properties in tax net

With the GIS-based Property Identification system failing to capture all the properties in Bengaluru, there is a growing demand for bringing all properties in the tax net.

The demand was an echo of the Economic Survey report which said the BBMP has the potential to generate revenues of up to Rs 8,500 crore while its collection in the previous fiscal was only Rs 1,600 crore. In the current financial year, it was just above Rs 2,000 crore.

During the special pre-budget council meeting on Monday, Dattetreya Temple ward corporator R S Sathyanarayana said, “The number of properties in Bengaluru is somewhere between 16 lakh and 21 lakh. We could so far bring about 12 lakh to 13 lakh properties in the tax net. The rest are still left out. The GIS-based PID system has not been implemented properly.”

BJP leader in the council Padmanabha Reddy demanded that the state government and Central government buildings also be brought within the tax net.

“There are Supreme Court rulings also stating that Central and state government buildings should be taxed,” he pointed out.

On enhancing revenue collection, he suggested that the state government transfer entertainment tax, professional tax and luxury tax collected in the city to the BBMP.
“These are paltry sums for the BBMP. The state government can easily part with the amount,” said Reddy. He suggested that the BBMP intensify its drive of collecting improvement charges in areas where ‘A’ khatas have not been issued. He also asked the Palike authorities to review the properties given on lease at throwaway rates for a longer period of time.

“Why should schools and hospitals, which charge hefty fees be allowed to enjoy Palike property on lease? There are schools which are paying 50 paise per annum as rent,” Reddy pointed out.

He also said the BDA Complex in HSR Layout earns more rent than shops in the Public Utility Building, which is on MG Road, a prime location.

Corporators suggested that the BBMP make tax payment hassle-free. They suggested that bank officials be trained before the beginning of the new financial year so that people do not return without paying taxes.

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