BENGALURU: Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has so far collected Rs 2,093 crore in property tax, though seven malls among 44 are yet to pay Rs 46.70 crore in taxes, said RL Deepak, Special Commissioner, BBMP (Revenue). In 2020-21, tax collected was Rs 1,614 crore, while in 2021-22, it touched Rs 1,395 crore, he said. Deepak told reporters that GT World Mall, Mantri Mall in Malleswaram, Rockline Mall, Royal Meenakshi Mall, Virginia Mall, Soul Space Arena and VR Mall are the defaulters.
“We are enforcing collection of tax on the defaulters, but some are involved in litigation. We had managed to close Mantri Mall a couple of times, but they approached court to seek time,” he said. “Revenue of ficials were asked to work towards the property tax target for this fiscal.
This time, we have given targets to teams to collect current/ due tax by property owners and a performance audit will be conducted soon by the BBMP Chief Commissioner. There was a training session for 800 revenue officers on how to reach targets and handle situations,” Deepak added.
Drone survey on defaulters
To improve property tax collection, the Palike hit on the idea of using drones for survey, with reports of owners deviating from the building plan and submitting false documents to escape the tax net. “The Palike will try to achieve the target set by the Revenue department and also verify the properties submitted by owners,” said Deepak, adding that the drone survey may uncover false details submitted by owners. Penalty for flexes, banners The Commissioner also came down heavily on mushrooming flexes and banners in Bengaluru, despite High Court orders against such defacement.
He said the Palike will take serious action against banners placed in public places, especially welcome banners to political leaders. He warned that those found wishing people via banners will have to pay a penalty. The issue was discussed as many city leaders have put up banners, in anticipation of PM Modi’s visit. Only government advertising is allowed in particular areas, he said. “At a few places, banners have come up only with permission from the Chief Commissioner.”