BANGALORE: The BBMP will not accept cheques for payment of property tax from this financial year. Reason: In 2013-14 , about 8,000 property-tax cheques bounced. Not to be a loser again this year, the civic agency has banned citizens from paying property tax by cheque. Payments can be made in cash or by demand draft.
Around 16 lakh properties come under Palike limits . On an average every year, 5,000 cheques for property tax are dishonoured, BBMP officials said.
The BBMP's property tax dues have run up to Rs 550 crore, sources said. The loss will mount if the Palike continues to accept cheques.
This is a big problem for us. We end up spending money because it involves issuing notice to the defaulter besides spending on fighting cases in court. So we thought it fit to impose a ban on cheque payment ," an officer said.
Deputy commissioner (revenue) I Ramakanth told TOI that more people may start paying online following the ban on cheques. He urged property owners to get a 5% rebate on property tax by paying before April 30.
BBMP's blanket ban on cheque payment for property tax may not be a wise move to counter cheque bouncing. If a few bad eggs have burdened the cash-strapped agency with dud cheques, others shouldn't be deprived of a convenient payment mode. Not everyone has online access and not everyone can afford to wait in queues with cash in hand. The agency should ensure it gets bank clearance before giving out receipts on property tax. Or it should initiate serious action against the serial defaulters instead of inconveniencing citizens who abide by rules.