BENGALURU:Councillors cutting across party lines on Thursday opposed the idea of outsourcing tax collection to private agencies.
A proposal to hire expert tax valuators was tabled for approval before the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike council. As per the proposal, tax valuators will verify a property’s built-up area and the amount to be paid. This will prevent misuse of the self-assessment scheme and up to 20 per cent of the tax collected after assessment will be paid to the valuators, the proposal said.
Objecting to this, Kachakarahalli ward councillor Padmanabha Reddy said the Palike has tax inspectors, revenue inspectors and other officials to collect tax.
Siddapura ward councillor Udayshankar (Congress) said in the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board, area engineers are told how many litres of water is supplied to their area and they are tasked with collecting money. “We should also follow a similar process with our revenue officials.”
Congress member Rizwan said there are more chances of misappropriation of money if private players are brought into the picture.
Chamarajpet councillor B K Ganesh said two major duties of the civic body are keeping the city clean and collecting property taxes. “We have outsourced cleaning works. If we outsource tax collection as well, why do we need BBMP employees?”
Following the negative response from council members, BBMP Commissioner M Lakshminarayana said tax valuators would not collect money and would just assess property. “They will assess properties that are more than 50x80 feet. This will not be a burden to the BBMP. Recently, we paid `75 lakh to a private firm to assess an IT company. If we had a company on hire, we would not have had to pay so much.”
However, the councillors were not moved and the proposal was dropped.