Bengaluru civic body goes easy on big property tax defaulters
If small/medium property owners default on paying property tax, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagar Palika (BBMP) is quick to take remedial steps. But for bigger players — read corporates and commercial establishments – BBMP is not showing similar enthusiasm if its record is anything to go by.
Assistant Revenue Officers (AROs), who are dealing with property tax recovery, have no courage to remind big defaulters who have not paid tax for the last 10 years, allege social activists.
But for small fish, they are more than eager to send notices and harass them, say activists.
For example, according to the property tax defaulters’ list prepared by the civic body, Wipro Limited, Sarjapur Road, Doddakanneli, Belandur, failed to pay property tax amounting to Rs 9,15,57,520 for the last six years.
The other big defaulters are: GE India Technology Centre (Rs 9,08,52,970); Millennia Realtors (Rs 16,36,13,567), M/s Dynant Developers Pvt Ltd (Rs 4,93,30,241).
Even Director General and Additional Director General of Police, Karnataka State Reserve Police, is a defaulter, according to the BBMP list. The civic body has not collected property tax for six years from the DG and ADGP of KSRP.
The total outstanding amount is Rs 1,06,01,511.
There are more: Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) has not paid property tax of Rs 8,59,389 for the last three years for its property at Peenya 2nd Stage and Rs 45,94,430 for its property at Domlur.
The Society of the Servants of the Holy Spirit at Kalena Agrahara Village has not paid property tax amounting to Rs 15,39,149 for the last five years.
Mother General Rev Mother Anne Presentation (Miller’s Road, Vasanthnagar) has not paid up (Rs 96,52,858) for the last nine years.
Rev Mother General, Mount Carmel College (Palace Road) has not paid Rs 7,55,576 for the last nine years. Similarly, Aradhana School Sisters of Precious Blood (Nanjappa Layout, Arakere) has to pay Rs 13,67,333.
“Revenue staff of BBMP harasses small and medium property owners if they fail to pay property tax for one or two years. But they are not bothered if corporate companies or influential people have not paid the property tax for more than five years. The BBMP does not do anything to recover arrears from them,” says S Amaresh, a social activist.
However, Mahadeva M, outgoing chairman of standing committee on taxation and finance, said that all efforts were made to recover the property arrears during his tenure.
“We have tried our best to recover the arrears. We have succeeded in collecting Rs 2,100 crore during our term. It was Rs 250 crore more than the previous year. Overall, property tax arrears running into Rs 1,500 crore is yet to be collected,” said Mahadeva.
Slamming BBMP for not collecting property tax from commercial establishments, H M Venkatesh, a social activist, said, “Property owners who pay the tax on time are deprived of basic amenities such as proper roads, street lights and drinking water. Defaulters enjoy all facilities.”
HemalathaGopalaiah, the newly elected chairperson of the standing committee on taxation and finance, has said that no leniency will be shown to the defaulters. “I will convene a meeting shortly to chalk out a programme to recover property tax arrears from defaulters. We will not hesitate to take action against defaulters,” said Hemalatha.