Palike-NIC meet today to fix glitches in civic body's property tax collection

Palike-NIC meet today to fix glitches in  civic body's property tax collection

As an eleventh hour exercise, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has decided to hold a meeting with the director of National Informatics Centre (NIC) to address the technical problem in its tax collection portal.

The NIC has developed the BBMP’s new portal. The portal has several technical glitches. For instance, the online tax payment window has crashed and is not reflecting the arrears among others.

“Tomorrow (Friday) we will have a meeting with the NIC director to address the problems in the Palike’s software as early as possible,” BBMP’s Standing Committee on Taxation and Finance chairman M K Gunashekar said.

Meanwhile, more complaints have started pouring in that the Palike is not refunding the excess payment made last year by some people before the rollback in the property tax hike.

Anantharam from Seshadripuram said that in 2015-16, he had paid a tax of Rs 6,378. Next year, the tax rates were revised along with zonal reclassification. As a result, the tax payable was Rs 11,654, which he paid. Days after he paid the tax, Palike withdrew the zonal reclassification and restricted the increase in property tax to only 20%. Those who had paid the tax in excess were told that the same will be adjusted next year (2017-18). However, the tax amount still remained the same for Anantharam.

“The BBMP has made the tax collection process chaotic. Even after a year, they
could not address the problem. It reflects on BBMP’s absurdity,” said an irked Anantharam.

After being in slumber for a year, the BBMP woke up only on April 1 when the tax collection drive was to start for the new financial year. It seems imminent that the Palike would ask the property owners to stand in queues at banks and pay their tax.

The only solace is that Palike plans to set up tax collection desks at ward offices where people can pay the taxes. As the tax collection has been outsourced to banks, the Palike authorities are in talks with the banks to depute their staff at ward offices to collect taxes. It is still not clear whether the banks have agreed to it.

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