N Manjunath Prasad, commissioner of Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike, said on Tuesday the Palike will issue notices to tax defaulters from April 1 with a 15-day time to pay up the arrears. “If defaulters fail the deadline, we will confiscate assets from their houses or commercial establishments,“ he added.
BBMP’s deputy commissioner (revenue) Venkatachalapathy M said the Palike enjoys powers to confiscate moveable properties like furniture under the Karnataka Municipal Corporations Act, 1976. Immovable properties cannot be seized. A property owner who has not paid tax for the previous year is declared an offender. Our estimates say taxes are due from at least, 20,000 properties from one year to many years. We estimate to net revenues of about Rs 400 crore if defaulters cough up the dues,“ Venkata chalapathy said.
Sources said the BBMP was confident of recovering dues this year as most properties have been mapped using the Geographic Information System (GIS) this time. So there’s no room for dispute.“We’ve developed a system where BBMP zonal officials get updates on spatial details of tax defaulters on their smart phones. Until now, our revenue officers were lethargic in identifying tax defaulters.They can’t shirk their responsibility now,“ he added. The BBMP has mapped a total of 18.95 lakh properties with GIS since June 2016, which is higher than the 16 lakh database that the Palike had.
It’s time for property owners in Bengaluru who have been evading tax payment all these years to clean up their act. The cash-trapped BBMP’s decision to confiscate movable properties of defaulters is justifiable because the city has about 20,000 properties towards which payment of tax is pending from one year to several years. The failure to crack down on them has proved costly for the Palike which complains of lack of funds for the city’s development. If executed meticulously, an estimated Rs 300 crore to Rs 400 crore could fill up its coffers. Given that BBMP has mapped 18.95 lakh properties using the Geographic Information System, recovering dues will not be an herculean task.
Credits ET Realty