Calls grow for property tax waiver in Karnataka after Gujarat’s move | Bengaluru News – Times of India

BENGALURU: After Gujarat waived property tax and fixed electricity charges for some sectors for one year, trade bodies and citizens in Karnataka have urged chief minister BS Yediyurappa to provide similar relief to help them cope with Covid-linked financial distress.
“If not for the whole year, the government should waive property tax for at least three months to neutralise the negative effect of the lockdown that has badly affected people’s sources of income,” said Chandrashekar Rao, a senior citizen who lives in Jayanagar 4th Block. Rao and his wife were heavily dependent on the rent they earned from their tenant before the latter vacated the property and returned to his hometown.
“There are thousands of people like us whose main source of income is rent. Collecting property tax from us during these difficult times is not fair,” Rao added.
On Tuesday, Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani announced the relief measures for hotels, resorts, restaurants, water parks, cinema halls, gyms and multiplexes. The Karnataka government is yet to respond to requests for similar concessions. Civic officials in Bengaluru do not favour a property tax waiver.
“It is a major source of revenue for BBMP. Waiving it would literally bring the civic agency to its knees. Expenditure has shot up because of Covid management and revenue from other sources has fallen because of the lockdown. In such a situation, how can we not collect property tax?” said a senior BBMP official.
BBMP collects around Rs 2,700 crore as property tax annually. The mobilisation for 2021-22 so far is Rs 1,323 crore. BBMP has extended the last date for payment with 5 per cent rebate till June 30.
In August last year, Banashankari resident K Gurudhatta moved the high court, seeking property tax waiver or concession. At the time, the state government said that it needed the money to provide health services and basic amenities to citizens during the pandemic. As businesses and residents are struggling again following a severe second wave, trade bodies are requesting the government to consider providing some tax breaks and exemptions in other charges.

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Sagar Biswas

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