Thursday, November 06, 2008

BBMP to tax even illegal property

BBMP to tax even illegal property

Krishnaprasad

It does not guarantee regularisation of bylaw violations

Bangalore: Owners of buildings constructed in violation of bylaws, unauthorised constructions as well as those in unauthorised layouts should also pay property tax to the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP).

A provision for this purpose has been made in the Karnataka Municipal Corporations (Amendment) Ordinance 2008 promulgated by the Governor on October 25 authorising the BBMP to levy property tax based on the Unit Area Value (UAV) system. However, according to the Ordinance, acceptance of property tax will not confer any right to regularise violations made, or title, ownership or legal status to such buildings and vacant lands.

“Such constructions shall always be liable for any action for violation of law in accordance with the provisions of Ordinance or any other law,” says Section (3) of the Ordinance. Those who have put up buildings on revenue land and buildings occupied without issuance of occupancy or completion certificates can pay property tax to the BBMP.

However, the BBMP cannot collect tax from buildings built illegally on government land, lands belonging to any local body, any statutory body or an organisation owned or controlled by the Government.

As per the provision of the Ordinance, the BBMP will have to maintain separate register for the tax collected from such properties.

According to officials, owners of such properties could not have paid property tax without legally obtaining a khata from the BBMP and the Ordinance had made a provision for this purpose.
Court stand

“The Supreme Court has made it clear that there is no relation with collection of property tax and legality of buildings or land and hence the Government has made a provision to collect tax from such properties, except those on encroached land belonging to public authorities,” said U.A. Vasanth Rao, BBMP Deputy Commissioner (Resources).

Meanwhile, the BBMP is thinking of issuing temporary assessment numbers to owners of such properties till the Akrama-Sakrama scheme is introduced. Payment of tax on such properties is subject to regularisation under the Akrama-Sakrama scheme.

Such a provision was necessary as the Government was proposing to regularise certain categories of illegal constructions and unauthorised developments through Akrama-Sakrama scheme, the officials pointed out.
Private parking

Noticing a large number of commercial buildings collecting charges by allowing parking, the Ordinance has authorised the BBMP to levy a lump sum amount as annual tax on area used for parking in a non-residential building and being charged for its use by the owner or the occupier.

This lump sum amount would be in lieu of property tax calculated based on ARV for the area used for parking and charged, and irrespective of zonal classification to be made for fixing the UAV.

The Ordinance had authorised the BBMP Commissioner to levy a lump sum amount as annual tax in lieu of UAV-based property tax for a built-up area having less than 300 sq. ft. in a slum area declared as such by the Karnataka Slum Clearance Board or the BBMP.

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