In digital era, BDA complicates matters for its taxpayers

  The government may be promoting digital transactions, but the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) is lagging behind in providing online payment facility for its property taxpayers.

Till date, BDA offers no option for people to pay the taxes online. This has made the process of payment more difficult. BDA doesn’t even allow site owners or building owners in its layouts to pay property taxes at the head office on Sankey Road.

People who went to the head office to get details on tax payment were asked to visit the local BDA offices of the layouts before visiting the bank with a challan or Demand Draft (DD) for paying the tax.

“Earlier, I could pay property tax at the head office, but now I am told to visit the jurisdictional office where my site is registered. I stay in Nandini Layout, but my workplace is near Sadashivanagar, so paying the tax at the head office was convenient for me,” said Renukamma, a resident.

Officials in the BDA head office say the move to decentralise tax payment was to avoid rush at the BDA head office, besides traffic snarls near the head office. BDA effected a steep hike in property tax in September 2016. As a result, not many BDA property owners are aware of the exact tax to be paid this year. Citizens point out that since they do not know the exact amount, they are forced to visit the jurisdictional offices to get details.

Gopal Kulkarni, who has a 50x80 site, is forced to visit the Vijayanagar BDA office to know the exact amount of tax to be paid. After that, he has to go to the bank specified by BDA to pay the tax either by challan or DD. “When the income tax department, BBMP and other government agencies are giving options of online payment, why is BDA not doing so,” he questioned.

“If you call up the BDA officials, they refuse to give the tax details,” he said. Basavaraju A B, BDA secretary, said there was a proposal of introducing online payment mechanism. “It has always remained in the discussion stage. This time the proposal will be tabled before the BDA board,” he said.

Another BDA official said the measure could not be implemented as commissioners keep changing frequently. As of December 2016, there were 80,688 registered BDA site owners. This number would have crossed one lakh as the authority allotted sites and flats in the last one year.

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