D K Shivakumar was talking about how many were not paying property taxes in Bengaluru when he said that he too had under-assessed the extent of tax liable to Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike.
While discussing the payment of property taxes in Bengaluru, Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister and Bengaluru Development Minister D K Shivakumar put his foot in his mouth on Wednesday by saying that while declaring his properties, he too declared “less than the actual” area.
“… so, when declaring my properties, I declare less than the actual (area). Such things are there. People like us too are committing a lot of mistakes. All this should be streamlined,” Shivakumar said.
Shivakumar’s remarks came following the launch of a ‘Brand Bengaluru’ website – http://www.brandbengaluru.karnataka.gov.in – meant to gather suggestions from citizens for the betterment of Bengaluru.
Responding to a question on shoring up revenues for Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), Shivakumar said that many were not paying property taxes. “They should pay as per built-up area. The self-assessment scheme was introduced (in BBMP). We are analysing whether the scheme is working or not. In some cases, (people) are not even letting us enter buildings (to verify the declarations made in self-assessment scheme),” he said.
The government was mapping all buildings with the help of satellite data, Shivakumar said, going on to admit that he too had under-assessed the extent of tax liable to BBMP.
With properties being undervalued, the collection of property tax has been a major headache for the civic agency over the years. While the property tax collected in 2021-22 was Rs 3,033 crore, this increased to Rs 3,758 crore in 2022-23. The revenue collection target has increased to Rs 4,412 crore for the 2023-24 fiscal.
After the implementation of the self-assessment scheme, the BBMP had put several commercial properties under the scanner and had decided to physically verify the total area of some buildings and compare the assessment done by the owners. The civic agency was looking to increase its revenue with the exercise.
Shivakumar also hinted at the possibility of increasing taxes, saying that there were suggestions to do so during consultations with various stakeholders of Bengaluru. “Some have suggested introducing Rs 50 or Rs 100 as solid waste charges,” Shivakumar said. Responding to a question on the issue, he said that various practices were followed in different states. “Our state has not implemented some. Many (people) are showing interest, saying that it is okay if you took Rs 100 or Rs 50 but ensure that waste is collected in a timely manner. Many citizens have suggested this,” he said.
On the Bangalorehttp://www.theancienttimes.news Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) not increasing water rates since 2014 and this affecting its capacity to take up new works for supplying water to Bengaluru, Shivakumar said that BWSSB’s power bill dues, after discounts, were Rs 99 crore.