Sunday, July 21, 2024

Hope for Property Tax Defaulters in Bengaluru as One-Time Settlement Proposal Awaited

Hoping to escape the burden of penalties and repercussions for defaulting on property tax payments, numerous property owners in the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) jurisdiction are eagerly awaiting a crucial cabinet meeting scheduled for Thursday evening.

In anticipation of relief, property owners are banking on the state cabinet’s potential amendment to the BBMP Act-2020 during the upcoming legislative session, paving the way for a one-time settlement for property tax defaulters.

Various MLAs and MLCs from Bengaluru, addressing the deadlock faced by lakhs of property holders due to tax payment defaults, have urged swift resolution. A high-level meeting of Bengaluru’s legislators and ministers, chaired by Deputy Chief Minister DK Shivakumar two weeks ago at Vikasa Soudha, emphasized the need for prompt action on the matter.

Acknowledging the confusion and escalating arrears among citizens, Shivakumar stated, “The penalty element was increased when the tax rules were revised in 2020. However, the implications were not foreseen. I acknowledge that citizens cannot afford such substantial arrears. Therefore, we have decided to amend the act and provide relaxation to property owners.”

Rajajinagar MLA and former minister S Suresh Kumar called for a one-time settlement of taxes to address the prevailing confusion. Meanwhile, several MLAs criticized BBMP’s issuance of notices to defaulters and the decision to seize their properties. Consequently, BBMP opted to target property owners with arrears exceeding Rs 10 lakh.

A senior officer from the Urban Development Department (UDD) confirmed that a proposal seeking clarity on the issue has been submitted to the state cabinet. “Shivakumar expressed his intention to amend the rules. Accordingly, we prepared a proposal and forwarded it to the cabinet for final approval ahead of the state legislature session next week,” the official stated.

Sources within the UDD disclosed that the department recommends waiving penalty charges and only collecting the principal and interest from defaulting property owners across the city.

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