Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has come up with a foolproof system to collect the property taxes and do away with tax evaders and the citizens will no longer be able to suppress the extent of built-up area to reduce their property tax burden.
False declarations by citizens are a problem that the civic body is trying to solve by proposing to link Completion Certificate (CC) and Occupation Certificate (OC) to property tax data.
False declarations or misrepresentation of facts by the citizens regarding the built up area and commercial properties, which are declared as residential use to evade property taxes is a common occurrence across the city.
Over few lakh properties are not assessed to tax and have been evading taxes for long, they must also brought to book. Properties with violation and deviation must be taxed on an higher slab as they are illegal.
SAS scheme under the Unit Area Value (UAV) was introduced by the civic body in 2008-09 wherein citizens can declare the extent of their property, calculate the tax due and pay the same to the civic body. It was totally misused or used for the purpose of wrong declaration and tax evasion.
By linking CC and OC to property tax, all data, including carpet area and super built-up area, will be readily available. “There will be no reason to reassess the property to check the tax. As it is, building plan approval has already gone online. This will make the system fool-proof and further this move is likely to affect big property owners, builders and commercial complexes where the built-up area is usually suppressed. “This is the most effective way to plug leakage of revenue,” they added.
BBMP officials said that earlier attempts to link data from Bangalore Electricity Supply Company (BESCOM) and Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) with property tax had failed. This was to ascertain the number of properties that have commercial power and water connections and have declared falsely as being residential to evade tax. However, sources said the proposal to link the data did not work due to incomplete addresses in the Bescom and BWSSB data.
Property tax rates will be increased by 20% to 25% from 01-04-2016, with a gazette notification to be issued by the end of January. Apart from hiking property tax rates, the civic body will also affect an increase in advertisement tax, trade license fees and the fee for road cutting for laying optic fiber cables from the next fiscal. According to sources, the hikes are expected to bring in an additional Rs. 800 crore for the BBMP. Though the Karnataka Municipal Corporations Act, 1976, mandates revision of tax rates every three years, hikes had been stalled for eight years, drawing the attention of the Comptroller and Auditor General.