The officials claim the problem is that users don’t know to use the website properly.

Are you experiencing glitches while paying property tax on BBMPs website Read this story
news Tax Wednesday, April 05, 2017 - 15:13

Have you experienced problems while paying property tax in Bengaluru? Were you possibly charged more than you were supposed to pay? While complaints pour in about faulty software and wrong calculation, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has now claimed that all is well.

In fact, they’ve gone one step further to say that the problem is with the users of their property tax website.

The Joint Commissioner, BBMP, Revenue Department, Dr Prasanna Kumar received numerous complaints from Bengalureans, who complained that the amount payable as property tax was lesser than what was reflected in the website.

“We have inspected each and every complaint till now and it was revealed that people are making two mistakes. The first one is that they have not verified the zonal notification of their properties before paying the tax,” Dr Prasanna Kumar said.

The senior revenue official said that for different zones, the property tax amount varies, and the zonal certificates were updated on the website last year.

“Last year there were many glitches in the website. So, people ended up paying lesser tax than they actually had to. This year, after all the glitches were fixed, the outstanding amount payable has been added to the said properties,” Dr Prasanna said.

The second mistake people have made is that they have entered the application numbers in the box allotted for the property area, which has resulted in the system showing the tax payable in crore of rupees.

“One of the first complaints I received was that of a Koramangala resident, alleging that the website was showing that he had to pay Rs 70 crore property tax. In his complaint, the man had said that his site was only 30x40 sq ft. Upon inspecting his application, it was revealed that he had put his 10-digit application number in the box where he was supposed to mention the area of his site, which is 30x40 sq ft. Since it was a 10-digit number, the system had calculated the tax and it was reflecting as Rs 70 crore,” Dr Prasanna said.

“We have told them to visit the local ward office, where the revenue officers would help them sort out the issue. There are some complaints which do not fall under either category and if they have paid extra property tax, the additional amount will be deducted from the next year’s amount,” Dr Prasanna said.

While the revenue department claims that almost all the complaints fell into these two categories, and that they have sent emails and also letters to individuals explaining the reason for the mix up, not everyone is convinced.

Some residents have accused the BBMP of wasting their time, and claimed that the Palike was trying to cover up its incompetence by blaming property owners.

“On April 1, BBMP had published advertisements announcing a 5% discount for citizens who paid property tax by April 30. The website is not reflecting this new update, and the software problem has resulted in us paying more money. In 2016, the BBMP had announced a 25% increase in property tax, but when I tried to pay the money, it showed a 120% increase. So is this my fault or the BBMP’s?” questioned Pritesh Durjay, a 41-year-old resident of HSR Layout.

Pritesh anticipated a rollback in rates, paid taxes, and claimed that the BBMP had assured him that the excess amount would be adjusted against this year’s dues. However, this was not reflected in this year’s tax.

Pritsh alleges that he had approached the Joint Director, who directed him to meet the revenue officer at the local ward office.

“When I went to the ward office, the revenue officer said that he will have to examine my property tax application, then submit the report to the joint director, who would then sanction the extra funds I have paid, and this amount will be deducted from next year’s tax. This is the same process. It’s a vicious cycle and shows how horrible the bureaucracy is,” Pritesh added.

 

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