Tuesday, December 25, 2007

BBMP ups burden on owners

BBMP ups burden on owners
Moots 10% Storm Water Drain Cess From Next Financial Year
Chandrashekar G | TNN

Bangalore: If you thought you could stop worrying about storm water drains now that the rains have ceased, you may have to do a rethink. For the drains are bringing with them a bigger worry for property owners — a new cess.
Property owners in Greater Bangalore will soon have to shell out more. The BBMP has sent a proposal to the urban development department seeking permission to levy a storm water drain cess. This will be in addition to those that are already being levied on property tax.
The beggary, health, library and education cess apart, owners may have to pay an additional 10 per cent of their property tax from the next financial year. The new cess was proposed in BBMP’s 2007-08 budget. The estimated revenue from the proposed cess is Rs 61 crore.
BBMP commissioner S Subramanya recently sent a proposal to the urban development department secretary seeking permission to levy the cess. In all probability, the department will grant the go ahead, as the BBMP has to raise funds as its contribution towards projects that are partly funded by the Centre.
The BBMP has given an undertaking to the Union government that it would raise funds to implement projects under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) scheme. This it will achieve by levying the SWD cess. The BBMP has begun remodelling four major storm water drains — Vrishabhavathi, Hebbal, Challaghatta and Koramangala — at a cost of Rs 650 crore, under the JNNURM scheme. Under this scheme, the Union government provides 35 per cent financial assistance, the state government’s share is Rs 15 per cent and BBMP has to contribute 50 per cent of the cost.
If this cess is levied, the total cess will add up to 34 per cent of the property tax. This will include the cess on health, library, beggary that is already being collected and the SWD cess that is set to be levied.
“The state government has withdrawn the 10 per cent education cess, which was in force. The introduction of the new cess would not be a burden on the citizens as they would be paying the SWD cess instead of the education cess,” said a BBMP official.


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