The information was disclosed in response to a query raised by MLC MA Gopalaswamy during the ongoing monsoon session of the Karnataka Legislative Council. South and east zones top the list with maximum number of defaulters.
The properties that owe a large amount as property tax to the BBMP are: Abhishek Developers, Malleshwaram (Rs 11.29 crore), Adarsh Reality and Homes, Palace Road (Rs 3.50 crore), Subramanya Constructions, Bannerghatta road (Rs 2.25 crore), Suraj Inn Pvt Ltd, Bellandur (Rs 1.34 crore), Salapuria Consultant Ltd, Adugodi (Rs 62 lakh), Rockline Mall, Jalahalli Cross (Rs 56.98 lakh) and Bengaluru Turf Club (Rs 53.87 lakh) etc.
Some of the above-mentioned property owners are either withholding payments deliberately or have gone to the court challenging the tax slabs of the BBMP. Of the government buildings that have defaulted, a maximum of them belong to the Bengaluru Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC), which is currently under heavy financial burden due to the fall in ridership.
Officials said they have sealed off some of the buildings for not showing any intent to pay the arrears. The BBMP has powers to first issue notices and also confiscate the properties in case the owners do not pay the property tax. The civic body has also increased the annual interest imposed on the arrears from 2 per cent to 9 per cent from 2021-22.
Rs 3,500-crore target
Property tax is the main and direct source of revenue to the BBMP, which has an annual budget of around Rs 10,000 crore. So far, the civic body has collected Rs 2,052 crore as property tax in the last five months, up by around Rs 200 crore as compared to the corresponding period last year. Officials attribute melas and popularity in digital payments as reasons for the spike in tax collection.
The civic body hopes to collect at least Rs 3,500 crore by end of this financial year. This, however, does not seem to be an achievable target going by the past record.
In the last three years, the property tax collection has steadily gone up from Rs 2,546 crore in 2018-19 to Rs 2,685 crore in 2019-2020 to Rs 2,781 crore in 2020-21.
Meanwhile, around 75,000 residential property owners –- who were slapped with notices and penalty for not providing the right ‘zonal classifications’ –- are yet to get any relief from the civic body. It’s learnt that the BBMP has sought state government’s opinion for waiving off penalty amount.