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BBMP proposal to reorganize property tax zones in Bangalore is a copout
[TOI 28th February 2013]

The BBMP’s proposal to reorganize tax zones of Bangalore, with a view to raise desperately-needed revenue, is typical of the civic agency in its display of lack of creative thinking as well as political will to mop up what is already due to it.

Cartographic jugglery to trick residents of outlying areas into paying what perhaps what those in the Central Business District or in its vicinity are currently forking out will add insult to the injury of having to put up with inadequate services. Such a move will only result in higher non-payment of taxes and defeat the very purpose of zone reorganization.

The more property owners stay out of the tax umbrella, the worse it’s going to get for the civic agency which constantly cites lack of resources as the primary reason for not fixing the major ills of the city. If, on the other hand, the BBMP had systematically identified and cracked down strongly on chronic property tax defaulters, its financial worries would have been minimised to a large extent. Of course, with this would come the responsibility of providing better amenities and prompt service.

This would ensure greater compliance by property owners as they would be assured of returns for the money they fork out as taxes. There would be no need for BBMP to send out drum-beaters to name and shame defaulters in the fond hope of recovering dues. The prevailing attitude of ‘Why should I pay taxes when I don’t get anything in return?’ should be tackled aggressively. Constantly complaining about a problem is one way of dealing with it, but identifying the most feasible solution and implementing it is the only way out for the BBMP. Rejigging tax zones certainly won’t help. The earlier the BBMP realizes it, the better it will be for citizens too.