Tax Defaulters In Bengaluru May Lose Property
In a major crackdown against property tax defaulters, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) will first slap distress warrants and then seize properties to recover dues. A circular to the same effect was recently issued by the BBMP, asking officials to take prompt action and submit a status report. The move comes after the civic authority collected only Rs 2,000 crore as property tax as against the annual target of Rs 3,000 crore.
The civic authority will be targeting those defaulters, who have not paid tax even after repeated warning. According to BBMP officials, several owners have been already warned thrice but no response has been received. Around 100 top defaulters in each assistant revenue office zone will be identified for serving seizure warrants.
Earlier, the BBMP had conducted a survey of some properties to identify cases of under-declaration during the self-assessment scheme (SAS). It was found that these establishments owed the municipal body Rs 809.44 while they have paid it only Rs 601.26 crore. The deficit of Rs 200 crore is yet to be recovered.
Major property tax defaulters are commercial establishments while the issue of under-declaration prevails even in the residential sector. The taxes are to be collected across various zones of Bommanahalli, East, Mahadevapura, South, West and Yelahanka.
The Karnataka government may in fact amend the Karnataka Municipal Corporations Act, 1976, to stop violations of construction norms, a move that will help the civic body earn additional revenue. After the amendment, property owners, who build additional floors, violating the sanctioned building plan, will have to pay double the property tax as a penalty.
Hawk-eyes on frauds
The BBMP has formed a vigilance cell that will check false declarations and khata-related frauds. The cell will also look into complaints from the public and conduct inspections or surprise inspections when required. not just that, the state government is also looking at bringing all unaided institutions under the tax net. A proposal to this effect has already been sent to the government to bring about an amendment to Section 110 of Karnataka Municipal Corporation Act, 1976.