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This should been done at the time of announcing new tax rates
April, 29th 2016

The BBMP’s proposal to cap property tax for residential properties to 20 per cent has caused confusion among tax payers. This intention of making the maximum property tax hike uniform regardless of zonal classification should have been done at the time of announcing the new tax rates, say residents.

The BBMP has suggested that if the proposal is passed, the extra taxes that people have already paid will be offset against the next year’s tax. “This is already a scam in the making. Citizens are to wait an entire year for their money? The civic body should return the excess money right away across the counter,” said D.S. Rajashekar, president of the Citizens’ Action Forum, which represents around 110 residents’ welfare organisations in the city. “In their haste to collect excess money, they have severely inconvenienced the public,” he added.

With the unpredictability of the online system, several citizens stood in long lines at banks that had been deputed to collect the tax. There have also been complaints about problems in calculating tax for vacant sites, parking areas, non-working online tax calculator, error messages midway through the process, wrong address, no arrangements to look at previous tax payment receipts as well as no information about timings in banks. It points to the lack of planning, said critics.

“I was trying to pay my tax for two days online and when it persistently did not work, I ended up hiring some agent recommended for such work by someone I know. I paid him around Rs. 2,000, to pay my property tax of Rs. 15,000. After all I did not want the hassle of going physically, standing in the line and getting the paper work needed to get the tax paid before the end of the month,” said Mrs. Shankar, a senior citizen in Koramangala.

N. Manjunath Prasad, BBMP Commissioner who took charge this week, said they had given instructions for upgrading the software to suit the new system and that it will be ready by Monday.

At a press conference on Thursday, Mayor B.N. Manjunath Reddy said all issues would be resolved within a week.

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