Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Property taxes set to rise in Bangalore by 15 pc


The BBMP commissioner sent a note proposing an increase in property taxes.


Bangalore City Corporation (BBMP) is planning to increase property tax by 15%.

BBMP Commissioner Siddaiah had sent a proposal to increase the tax rate by 15 to 30 per
cent as the block period of the Unit Area Value system comes to an end this March.

Meanwhile, it is said that the BJP councillors have been taken to task by Deputy Chief Minister R. Ashok, who is also the city in charge, for proposing such a “sensitive subject” ahead of the urban local body and Assembly elections, apprehending it would dent the party’s prospects.

“The commissioner sent a note proposing an increase in property taxes. This was sent for discussion during the monthly meeting. But the Standing Committee on Taxation and Finance has no plans to hike taxes,” Standing Committee Chairman K A Muneendra Kumar
said.

The commissioner, according to Kumar, had sent a proposal for raising taxes by 20 per cent
on residential properties and 25 per cent non-residential ones.

Kumar said the BBMP had last increased property taxes in 2008 and according to the
Karnataka Municipal Corporation Act, property taxes can be revised every three years.

Deputy Chief Minister R Ashok also said the BBMP and the government had no plans to
raise property taxes.

A similar proposal was sent for council approval last year but was not approved by
corporators.

Eyeing more revenue generation, BBMP has planned to send a similar proposal to the council
once again this year, and if approved, the increased property tax slab is likely to come into
effect from April 1, 2013.

With the three-year block period coming to an end in 2012 for revised Self Assessment
Scheme (SAS), there are possibilities of BBMP wanting to collect more tax from property
owners.

“BBMP has not taken public opinion on hiking the property tax. There is lack of transparency maintained. BBMP must cut down on its various unwanted expenses, and thus, save money for itself, and not by collecting more tax,” Opposition leader in the BBMP Council M K Gunashekar said.

He has written to chief minister Jagadish Shettar requesting to stop any kind of proposed hike in property tax.

K.A. Muneendra Kumar, chairperson of the Standing Committee for Taxation and Finance,
claimed that the BJP was also not in favour of hiking the rates. Speaking to journalists here,
he conceded that BBMP Commissioner Siddaiah had sent the proposal to hike the tax rates to the committee. “However, we have not taken any decision in the matter. We only proposed the matter for discussion in the BBMP council.”

The drumbeaters would once again visit Vrundavan Tech Village on Outer Ring Road to
recover property tax arrears.

The standing committee also plans to inspect Le Meridien and assess whether the tax has
been paid correctly.