In Bangalore, faulty online system leads to slump in property tax collection

Technical glitches in the online payment system have caused a big slump in property tax collection in the first month of the financial year. And taxpayers are losing out on the 5% rebate they get if they pay property tax by April 30.

The property tax collection drive, which began on April 4, has fetched the BBMP just Rs 170 crore till April 26, as against Rs 400 crore in April last year when payment system was offline, according to BBMP Deputy Commissioner (Revenue), Venkatachalapathy M.

He admitted that tax collection was seriously affected by glitches in the software. “We are trying our best to solve the issue. Since it’s a new model, it will take time to get streamlined,” he said. Around two lakh people have paid property tax till date. “The question of extending the 5% rebate beyond April 30 is something we are yet to decide,” he added.

People say they continue to face problems in paying tax. Sridhar S, a senior citizen from Uttarahalli main road, Chikkalasandra, had been paying property tax by April 30 for the past five years to get rebate. This year, however, he is distressed. He said he was unable to pay tax online despite entering the required details correctly. “I tried paying tax online in the first week of April, but I got a message, ‘Transaction Failed’. In another attempt, I got a message ‘Invalid Input Data’,” he said.

He then tried contacting BBMP officials, including Venkatachalapathy, and those in the complaints section. “None of them responded to my phone calls,” he said.

Venugopal H K from Chandra Layout is facing a different problem. He paid property tax for his 1,200-sqft residential property by netbanking on April 18 but has not yet received a receipt.

“I got an SMS from the BBMP that it has received property tax payment of Rs 6,466 towards my property. In the online system, there is an option of printing out the receipt. When I clicked on it, it showed a message ‘details not found.’ I lodged a complaint on the Palike’s Sahaaya website but my request was rejected. Why does the Palike introduce the online system when there are so many glitches,” he wondered.

Credits Deccan Herald

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