BBMP officials all at sea over property tax dues

Revenue section is yet to update the list of defaulters

BENGALURU: The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) officials have neither updated the list of property tax defaulters nor know how much money is due to them. According to revenue officials: “At llast count, there are 1,80,363 defaulters in the City, where the minimum amount is Rs 10,000 and the maximum goes into crores of rupees. 

The officials have estimated that Rs 550 crore needs to be recovered from these defaulters, but before that the list needs to be updated and verified. According to BBMP records, there are 19 lakh properties in Bengaluru which come under the tax ambit and every day around 60,000- 70,000 new properties are added to the tax list. Now to correct the anomaly, the revenue officials are working closely with the town planning department and joint commissioners of each zone to collect ground data of each property -- whether it is residential, commercial or mixed. 

“During the assessment, it has also been found that since the defaulters’ list is not updated, the target collection from property tax is also not updated. It has been found that the target is not Rs 3,500 crore as assumed and announced, but is around Rs 3,000 crore. The amount will reduce once the defaulters’ list is updated. So far, a list of the top 300-500 defaulters is prepared and made public. But the remaining are not addressed  as the process is lengthy---a defaulter is slapped a notice and he visits the BBMP with proper documents which are then sent to the head office for final upgradation. The exercise is so lengthy that it gets lost when the new taxpayers are added to the list,” the official admitted. 

But now the BBMP is working towards digitising the data and merging it with that of the town planning department so that defaulters can be nabbed. S Basavaraju, BBMP Special Commissioner, Revenue,  told The New Indian Express that the department was working on upgrading and digitising its data. “A couple of months back a list of top defaulters was published. Notices were also slapped upon defaulters and warrants  issued. Information filed under Self Assessment Scheme by taxpayers is also being verified and defaulters are being identified, and through this the defaulters will be known,” he said. 

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