Bengaluru’s property taxes were hiked for the first time in 8 years recently. Property taxes rose by 20% to 25%, while guidance values were increased and tax zones reshuffled. But for Bangaloreans, what’s more irritating is the number of bugs that is making paying these taxes a rough affair. We list the top 5 grievances that people have about the new property tax system.
1) Everything’s Online, But It Sure Isn’t Easy
Bengaluru’s Municipal Corporation, the BBMP, says all you need to do is log on to www.bbmp.gov.in or www.bbmptax.karnataka.gov.in and fill in your details using your PID number or the SAS base application number. Sounds easy, but it isn’t. Once you log in, you have to fill a long and exhausting form with details of the property you are filing taxes for. These details should have automatically been filled up, but it looks like the BBMP overlooked it.
2) It Is Tough To Identify Your Tax Zone
Reshuffled tax zones are adding to the confusion. The BBMP has provided a PDF document to identify your tax zone on its webpage at http://bbmp.gov.in/en/2016-17-final-property-tax-notification. But your exact street location may not be mentioned, leaving you with no way to identify your tax zone. The website is also facing several software issues making it all the more difficult for you to see which zone your property comes under.
3) You May Have To Pay Double Your Current Tax Rates
There are 6 zones ranging from ‘A’ to ‘F’, with ‘A’ being the highest and ‘F’ the lowest. Since the tax zones have been reshuffled, you may wake up to find out that your property has been moved to a higher tax zone and you may have to pay double your current property taxes. There is some relief though. Let’s say you have jumped from F-zone to a D-zone, the BBMP commissioner has told NDTV that you will only need to pay taxes as per the immediate upper zone , which in this case is ‘E’.
4) New Property Owners Have To Pay More Taxes
The new tax rules say the older the building, the more the depreciation benefit. So if your building is less than 3 years old, you get 3% depreciation on the annual value of your property. But if it is more than 30 years old, your depreciation could be a whopping 33%. While that is good news for those who have owned property in the city for many years, new home buyers are upset that they will be shelling out more on taxes.
5) The Payment System Is Riddled With Bugs
The new system for online payment is still buggy. While payment gateways have been setup through Visa and Master card, there are complaints of error messages that pop up mid-way through the payment process. And if that happens, you will have no option but to go offline to banks to make your payment. The BBMP is working on fixing these bugs, but it might have been better for the agency to have setup a fool-proof system before releasing it to the general public.
Keep these problems in mind when you head out to pay your property taxes. And if you do face them, call the BBMP’s helpline number at 080-2266000 to get your property-tax related queries answered.
Reporter: Stacy Linera Pereira
Web Editor: Nikhil Narayan Sivadas