Property tax payment runs into site glitch 

Officials say system being updated, public can start paying from May 1; lack of technical expertise blamed
Property tax payment runs into site glitch 

BENGALURU: With the property tax website being upgraded, property owners are having a tough time paying tax this financial year to the Bengaluru Development Authority. A similar situation is being faced by BBMP property taxpayers too, but that is a result of failure to provide required information on the portal, said a top official.

With the new financial year starting, early birds who wanted to quickly pay their taxes to BDA could not do so. The Authority collects an average of Rs 26 crore from owners of its sites and houses, together numbering 1,02,000, said a senior official. “Of them, 70% pertain to vacant lands,” he said.

Speaking to TNIE, BDA Public Relations Officer Girish L P, who is also in charge of online payments, said, “Our system is being updated in order to add the revised property rates. Unless that is completed, it will not be possible to pay tax. We are only collecting online tax payment since last year and collection has been temporarily stopped now. Public can begin payment from May 1.”

Another top official said the lack of technical expertise was the real reason. “Due to the inability to work online, all revised charges are being written manually and updated online. This is really time consuming,” he said.

It remains unclear why the Authority did not make the effort to inform the public about the issue. Rajesh Kumar, a taxpayer, told this reporter, “I was repeatedly trying to pay, thinking I did not know how to do it. Only after attempts on repeated days, I learnt the site itself had a problem.”

Meanwhile, a senior BBMP official said the corporation had collected Rs 2,831 crore from around 17 lakh properties in the city for the just concluded financial year. “Our payment site is perfectly alright. However, we have incorporated additions like insertion of mobile number and other personal details on our Form IV or V. Unless the public fills up these things, it will not take them to the next page. It is more a case of lack of awareness among the public than any problem from our side,” he said.

The official said that zones may have been changed in the case of some properties compared to the previous year. “When the zone is not filled up correctly, the payer will not be able to pay tax,” he added.
BBMP has already collected Rs 328 crore in the new financial year. There is no fixed property charge for a building and it depends on factors like dimension of the building, whether it is occupied by the owner or rented out, number of floors, incorporation of additional features the previous year and so on.

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