Bengaluru residents to be charged 2% 'road transport cess' on property tax from April

The BBMP said that the amount collected will be used for upkeep of pedestrian infrastructure in the city.

Starting this April, residents of Bengaluru have to shell out extra money as the city's civic body will start charging property owners a 2% 'road transport cess' on their property tax. Two years after the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) first passed a resolution to impose the same, it will be implemented in the coming financial year starting from April. When the BBMP council had first passed a resolution on the issue, the state government did not go through with the move, fearing public backlash.

But now, both BBMP Administrator Gaurav Gupta and the Urban Development Department of the state government have approved the council's decision.

The Times of India reported that the amount collected by BBMP for this will be transferred to the Directorate of Urban Land Transport, which will use that money for upkeep of pedestrian infrastructure. Deccan Herald reported that the BBMP has lost out on revenues to the tune of Rs 95.63 crore between 2013-14 and 2016-17 citing the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) findings for not imposing this cess.

At the start of 2020, the BBMP council led by Mayor M Goutham Kumar passed the resolution on the issue but it was pending approval from the state government. At that time, it was said an amount of Rs 150 crore is expected to be collected through this.

Incidentally this 2% additional cess was opposed by BJP corporators in the council in the past.

At the time, activists had pointed out that the BBMP should work on collecting taxes more efficiently first before adding additional burden on those who are already paying taxes. In fact, BBMP currently sees a property tax compliance rate of a little over 80%. Some said that if such a transport cess is imposed then all public transportation in the city should be made free to justify a transport cess.

The transport cess has also been mentioned in the newly passed Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike Act 2020 as a means of additional revenue generation

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