BBMP mops up ₹2,460 crore in property tax despite pandemic
As compared to this, the tax collected in the 2019-20 financial year was ₹2,397 crore
Collection of property tax, one of the biggest revenue sources for the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), had slowed down a bit following the outbreak of COVID-19 in the city. However, with renewed efforts being made to collect more property tax, the civic body has been able to mop up around ₹2,460 crore as of January 13.
Following the pandemic outbreak, the civic body, with its coffers running low, was in dire need of revenue. Though the civic body sets a target of collecting ₹3,500 crore from the 19 lakh-odd properties under the tax net, it falls short each year.
BBMP Commissioner N. Manjunath Prasad had directed the revenue officials to identify the top 100 defaulters, apart from collecting arrears from property owners who have not paid for more than one year.
According to information available, the top 100 defaulters owe nearly ₹131 crore while arrears amount to more than ₹600 crore. Revenue officials said the civic body had already issued hundreds of notices and warrants to the defaulters.
“We are better placed this year, compared to the same period last year. While the total tax collected in the 2019-20 financial year was ₹2,397 crore, we have surpassed that figure this year. By end of March 2021, we hope to collect another ₹400 crore,” a senior official said.
Meanwhile, the Cabinet recently approved an amendment to the Karnataka Municipal Corporations Act, 1976, based on the Centre’s direction to revise property tax on residential properties and vacant sites in municipal areas in the State. This will apply to Bengaluru as well.
A new proposal to hike the property tax based on this is likely to be sent to BBMP Administrator Gaurav Gupta, sources said. The BBMP last hiked property tax during the 2016-17 fiscal. Though the Karnataka Municipal Corporations Act, 1976, mandates increasing the tax rate every three years by a minimum of 15% and maximum of 30%, the civic body’s council had not approved the proposal tabled by the Commissioner for various reasons.