Tuesday, December 30, 2008

BBMPs tax relief for Bangaloreans!

BBMPs tax relief for Bangaloreans!
Bangalores civic infrastructure remained a virtual mess through 2008, although a process of reconstruction began towards the year-end. Heres a roundup of how BBMP fared.

Any talk about 2008 and the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) ought to begin with the near total vacuum on the property tax collection front. Three quarters of the current financial year have passed, and a clarity on this critical revenue generation scheme is yet to emerge.

Going by Bangalore in-charge Minister R. Ashok’s latest assurance, the relaunch of the tax collection process might just be one more week away. But that has come after much delay, which has left the Palike cash-starved to meet Brand Bangalore’s mounting infrastructure and civic requirements. The BBMP, which was earlier set to introduce the Capital valuation System (CVS) backtracked from its decision following intense pressure from various civic groups and political outfits. Now, the old Self Assessment Scheme (SAS) is about to be back, but with a hike in rates.

The hike would be between four to 20 per cent over the previous year’s rate. So, people who paid Rs 3,000 as tax will have to fork out another Rs 600. Of course, the rates would depend where their property is located. Once the notification is issued, Bangaloreans will have three weeks to give their suggestions and objections. The process could have and should have begun in 2008!

According to one estimate, only 47 per cent of the buildings in Bangalore were taxed earlier. Under the new system, the Palike’s priority would definitely be to raise this percentage.

BBMP had earlier opted to bring even buildings on agriculture land under the tax net. But no taxes would be collected on structures that come up illegally on government land.


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