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Govt move on property tax defaulters in Bengaluru gets mixed views

Many welcomed the move, stating that it could be an incentive for people and also help the government rake in revenue.
Last Updated 20 February 2024, 20:53 IST

Bengaluru: The state government’s decision to provide relief to property tax defaulters in the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) jurisdiction has received a mixed response from citizens. 

Many welcomed the move, stating that it could be an incentive for people and also help the government rake in revenue. 

"It is the right step towards incentivising payments. While it will provide some relief to citizens, it will also help the government collect good revenue. We have seen the response to a 50 per cent discount on traffic fines when the government was able to collect a decent amount. Hopefully, this incentive will also garner a good response, too,” said Nitin Seshadri, a civic activist. 

Echoing the opinion, Srinivas Alavilli, a civic activist, said it was crucial to introduce reforms that would enhance the collection of property tax. 

"Property tax is the single biggest revenue source for the BBMP and any reform that simplifies the process and enhances collection is worth trying,” he said. 

However, some citizens opined that the move might discourage innocent taxpayers who have paid the taxes diligently. 

"A taxpayer-friendly amendment is not one that removes penalties on defaulters. It is one that ensures that the BBMP follows a proper process ensuring that defaulters are penalised and innocent citizens are not harassed,” said Srikant Narasimhan from Bengaluru NavaNirmana Party (BNP). 

He added that BBMP officials were harassing citizens by sending notices, citing wrong self-assessment and use of property for commercial purposes,  and saving citizens from such harassment was a bigger concern now. 

Seshadri, however, opined that the move would not discourage honest taxpayers since the rebate has been given only on the penalty and not on the principal tax amount. 

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(Published 20 February 2024, 20:53 IST)

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