BENGALURU: Despite difficulties induced by the lockdown, Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike has collected Rs 1,804 crore in property taxes from the start of the fiscal year, which is only slightly short of the amount collected for the same period last year.
Official data shows that between April 1 and August 5, BBMP collected Rs 1,804.8 crore compared to Rs 1,969 for the corresponding period last year. The annual property tax targets for FY 2020-21 and FY 2019-20 is Rs 3,500 crore each year. The total property tax collected for FY 2019-20 was Rs 2,729 crore.
The biggest chunk of taxes – Rs 465.73 crore – came from the Mahadevpura zone this year. “Malls and industries associations have approached the State government seeking exemptions or extension of deadline to pay the tax. But nobody has approached us so far,” a BBMP official said.
Authorities announced a 5% rebate on property tax for April and May, which the BBMP was able to recover. However, many businesses, especially large ones, are yet to pay taxes as they were forced to shut down during the lockdown. “Only house owners and small scale businesses have been willing to pay their taxes,” an official said.
Meanwhile, the Urban Development Department has directed the BBMP to switch from the ‘unit area value’ method of calculating property tax to one that uses guidance value. There are three categories of property: residential, industrial and commercial. “This could be a big blow for businesses as they will have to pay more from next year even as the economy recovers from the pandemic,” said Rajeev Gangadhar, a businessman.