BENGALURU: The Karnataka Municipalities (Second Amendment) Bill 2021, and Karnataka Municipalities And Certain Other Law (Amendment) Bill 2021, were passed in the Council amid opposition from Congress on revising the property tax structure to improve revenues of municipalities. It also extends time limit for payment of property tax, and provides rebate of 5 per cent to those paying it within one month of commencement of the Act.
While the government insisted that the amendment be brought in to offer rebate to those who have paid property tax, the Congress demanded that the government offer 50 per cent rebate in property tax as people are finding it difficult to pay taxes due to Covid. The Bills were earlier passed in the Assembly.
The Congress members said the government is allowing local bodies to revise property tax every year, as against once in three to five years. Congress MLCs said local bodies should be allowed to decide on property tax after consulting people, and by taking such a decision the government is curtailing the powers of local bodies.
Municipal Administration Minister MTB Nagaraj and Urban Development Minister Byrati Basavaraj insisted that except the rebate there is nothing new in the remaining provisions mentioned in the bills. They dismissed Opposition charge that annual revision of taxes will be a burden on people. The State Government has to ensure that municipalities have funds for development works, and also ensure the government is eligible for an additional borrowing limit of 0.25 per cent of Gross State Domestic Product for 2020-21, they said.