Sunday, July 14, 2024

BBMP Pursues Property Tax Dues from BMRCL, Issues Over 50 Notices to Namma Metro

In a bid to boost its revenues, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has escalated efforts to collect outstanding property taxes, sending more than 50 notices to the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL), the operator of Namma Metro. The notices demand the clearance of tax dues on various establishments, including operational Metro stations.

Namma Metro, boasting a network of 74km with 65 stations, is facing property tax claims from BBMP, with one notice specifying a demand of over Rs 53.6 lakh from Cubbon Park Metro station, pending since 2011-12. The BBMP anticipates approximately Rs 39 crore in property tax dues from Namma Metro establishments, according to BMRCL estimates.

A BMRCL official disclosed that while tax demand notices were infrequent in the past, the BBMP has recently issued 50-60 notices. The official emphasized that, based on a 2020 memorandum of understanding, BMRCL is obligated to pay service charges, calculated as a percentage of property tax, depending on property categories.

For instance, BMRCL is required to pay 25% of service charge for concourse areas of Metro stations, excluding platforms, entry/exits, and unpaid public movement areas. The same percentage applies to depots, administrative buildings, and training centers. However, for shops, stalls, paid-parking spaces, and buildings outside the station premises, BMRCL is expected to pay 100% of the service charge.

Despite the MoU, in December 2023, BBMP’s chief commissioner instructed BMRCL to pay full property tax from the start of Metro operations until the MoU signing. The BMRCL contested this, stating that it is paying service charges instead of property tax under the agreement.

Acknowledging differences in opinions regarding tax dues, BBMP chief commissioner Tushar Giri Nath stated, “Based on the MoU, we’ll calculate the dues.”

The BMRCL official highlighted that during the implementation of Phase I of the Namma Metro project, BMRCL had deposited Rs 61 crore for road restoration in Metro project areas. However, BMRCL later took up the restoration works independently. The official mentioned past efforts to have Rs 5 crore paid as service charge adjusted with the funds, with plans for similar adjustments in the future.

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