This is how BBMP plans to shame property tax defaulters

This is how BBMP plans to shame property tax defaulters

If you are among the residents who defaulted on property tax, you can pretty soon expect the writing to be on the wall, or, precisely, on the board in front of your house.

The BBMP has come up with a unique way to name and shame defaulters by putting up boards before their house announcing: "This property belongs to BBMP."  

The civic authority hopes that the board would embarrass the owner and prompt him to pay the due.

Ingenious as it may sound, the move has evoked mixed response among residents, who questions the legitimacy. "It's not right to put up such boards before private properties," said Nagaraj, a resident of Koramangala. "They can (instead) penalise the defaulters if they want."

The boards will not help anyone and offer  no guarantee that the owner would pay what he owed, pointed out Shekar, a lawyer. "While some may be financially too weak to pay up, there'll always be a few tax evaders," he said.

Naresh Narasimhan, an architect, said the BBMP is left helpless. "The owner has to get the Occupancy Certificate (OC) from the government to get power and water supply," he said.

"But the BBMP can't do much if the BWSSB and Bescom continue to provide them power and water," he added.

Among those who cheer the move are members of the Basavanagudi Residents' Welfare Association. "This will help the BBMP financially strengthen itself, while also teaching a lesson to the defaulters," said Anand, a member of the association.

The civic authority should put out a blacklist of owners who did not pay property tax on their website, Anand suggested, urging all RWAs and ward committees in the city to cooperate with the BBMP.

M Mahadev, the chairman of the BBMP's  standing committee of tax and finance, said that 16 of 19 lakh properties in the city have paid taxes, adding that the move would help the local administration earn Rs 50 to Rs 100 crore additional revenue.

Box

BBMP's tactics  

* Palike says 16 of 19 lakh properties in the city have paid taxes

* Hopes to earn Rs 50 to Rs 100 crore of additional revenue

* Residents express mixed opinions on the tactics

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