Bengaluru: The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) is moving towards meeting the property tax collection target for the year 2019-20. Two months into the financial year, the civic body has already collected up to 45% of the property tax.

As of June 12, the BBMP has collected Rs 1581.7 crore as property tax which is an all-time high. In the corresponding time in the previous years, the civic body had collected only Rs 784 crore in 2016-17, Rs 967 crore in 2017-18 and Rs 1,167 crore in 2018-19.

With the GIS Enabled Property Tax Information System (GEPTIS), the BBMP has identified around 18.9 lakh properties in its limits. Close to 3 lakh properties are vacant lands and the owners of these areas do not pay taxes. The BBMP is unable to locate the owners and collect tax from them.

9.5 lakh out of the around 18.9 lakh property owners have paid tax. The challenge for the BBMP is to get the rest of the property owners into the tax net.

According to reports, a BBMP official said that around 12.4 lakh property owners paid tax in 2018-19. He said that even if the civic body is not able to trace the non-compliant vacant site owners, it should make continuous efforts to get 4 lakh more property owners to pay taxes. If this is done, the taxpayers' ranks will swell up to 16 lakh.

Making use of the 5% rebate in April, the property owners paid Rs 873 crore as tax. This amount is Rs 223 crore higher than the amount collected at the same time last year.

According to TOI reports, Mahadevapura tops the property tax collection list followed by the BBMP’s east zone. While it was trailing the east zone in April, it now accounts for a collection of Rs 383.4 crore, bringing the east zone down to the second spot with a collection of Rs 321.3 crore. Dasarahalli zone is at the bottom with a collection of Rs 45 crore.

Reports state that the BBMP had aimed to collect Rs 4,100 crore as property tax in the year 2019-20. But after the government revised its budget, it has downsized it to Rs 3,500 crore.

The property tax collection has been sought under various heads such as residential, commercial, A Khata, B Khata and mixed properties among others. Mayor Gangambike Mallikarjun has asked for information pertaining to property tax collection under these heads, reports said.