As poor property tax collection by the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) continues to remain a pressing issue, Mayor Gangambike Mallikarjun has decided to tighten the noose for defaulters. One of the steps mulled against regular defaulters includes “seizing” movable property. While the property tax target for 2018-19 was Rs 3,100 crore, the civic body has failed to collect even Rs 2,000 crore. For the last financial year ending in March 2017, BBMP managed a total collection of Rs 2,170 crore.
In a meeting held on Thursday, the Mayor asked the eight BBMP Zonal Commissioners to prepare a list of the top 50 tax defaulters and monitor updates with regard to collection, every 15 days. The Mayor also urged ward level officers to take steps to improve tax collection.
“BBMP officials are armed with lot of power to collect revenue from the defaulters. We have been resorting to methods such as beating drums in front of the properties of big defaulters and ‘naming and shaming them’, all of this hasn’t helped much. Laws do not permit us to lock up or seize properties of defaulters but we do have powers to seize immovable properties. This can be furniture, fridge, washing machine and others.” Gangambike said.
To this effect, BBMP Joint Commissioner (Revenue) M Venkatachalapathy has directed officials on the ground to issue distress warrants to regular defaulters and sought an action taken report from them. Based on that, the BBMP top brass is expected to take action against defaulters who decide to ignore show cause notices.
“Once the list is ready, fresh notices will be issued. The final step will be seizure of properties,” Venkatachalapathy told The Times of India.
He added that revenue officials were not issuing three show cause notices to the owner as mandated by the rule book, which is essential for the BBMP to seize property.
Mahadevpura Zone has so far recovered Rs 511 crore out of Rs 800 crore target. Zonal Commissioner said he will focus on the top 500 defaulters to meet the target before the end of the financial year.