BENGALURU: The BBMP is proposing a 20 per cent raise in property taxes to cover the large gap in its revenues and expenditure. The civic body will send the proposal to the government on Thursday. "We are proposing the revision effective from April 1, 2016," BBMP Administrator TM Vijay Bhaskar told ET. He added that the property taxes in the City have not been revised since 2008 when the civic body introduced a self-assessment scheme for property taxes.
An estimated six lakh properties come under the civic body's limits and the BBMP earned Rs 1,650 crore in property tax collections in 2014-15. BBMP officials and prominent Bengalureans have voiced concern that several properties worth crores in market value have been paying a few thousand rupees each in taxes and this should be corrected.
Biocon founder and BPAC president Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw said that in a city where you need to invest in creating high-end infrastructure, you cannot have a low property tax. "We should not be cynical. We must first pay the right taxes and then demand service from BBMP ," she said. In the previous BJP regime, the BBMP's Finance Standing Committee had recommended a 25 per cent raise in property taxes but the BBMP Council did not take a decision on that proposal. Hence, it never moved forward.
This time, the BBMP Administrator's proposal will go to the Urban Development department.
BBMP officials say most of the properties within the city limits have been covered under the tax net. Those suspected to be evading the taxes are mostly on the city outskirts. They added that the BBMP's revenues will go up significantly -about Rs 600 crore -if the civic body is allowed to regularise the buildings that have come up on farmlands.