BENGALURU: In December last year, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike had given one last chance to IT and BT companies, commercial establishments, tech parks and property owners in the city to submit the actual measurements of their properties or pay double the tax if caught undervaluing their properties.
Under Section 110 of the Karnataka Municipal Corporations Act, 1976, BBMP can conduct random inspections of properties, be it residential or commercial, and remeasure them as against what the property owners have submitted under the Self-Assessment Scheme introduced in 2000.
However, the fact that the Palike last did these inspections in 2015 and did not even cover 1 per cent of the total properties in the city (19 lakh) perhaps explains why it misses its property tax targets, which are modest anyway.
M K Gunashekhar, chairman of the BBMP Standing Committee on Taxation and Finance, told Express, “We haven’t started the inspections this year yet. We will probably start next month. In December, we had given property owners who had undervalued properties a last chance to declare the built-up area correctly.”
Property owners had time till January 14 this year to submit details afresh.
The Palike had collected `232 crore after random inspections of just 10 properties as a pilot survey in 2015 using a device called total station survey. A total of 74 tech parks, 51 malls, 4,835 industries, 4,406 apartment complexes, Metro stations, Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board’s reservoirs and head office, substations and petrol tank storage units will be remeasured.
Asked why BBMP didn’t conduct inspections last year, Joint Commissioner (Revenue) M Venkatachalapathy, said, “Our revenue inspectors have other jobs to do as well. We inspected 8,000 to 10,000 properties in 2015 which I know is not even 1 per cent of the total number properties, but it is not possible for us to check every property. We have identified large malls and tech parks and will begin work shortly.”