With its coffers running low, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) is banking on property tax collections. Civic officials told The Hindu that while in April 2020, the civic body was able to collect just over ₹400 crore, the collection in May 2020 had crossed ₹1,000 crore.

“Until midnight of May 31 (Sunday), citizens were able to avail the 5% rebate. The total tax collected will be changing by the hour until then,” an official said.

According to data provided, the tax collected until 1.40 p.m. on Sunday was ₹1,429.32 crore. The total had increased to ₹1,440.14 crore by 5 p.m. Of this, ₹782.52 crore was made through online modes and ₹657.62 crore as challan payments. By 5.30 p.m., the total had increased to ₹1,440.21 crore.

During the corresponding period last year (2019-20), the BBMP had collected a total of ₹1,510.79 crore. Of this, ₹565.10 crore was paid through online modes and ₹945.69 crore as challan payment through banks.

In a circular, BBMP Commissioner B.H. Anil Kumar said the civic body had to extend the rebate period due to the lockdown forcing citizens to stay indoors. This had meant ruling out visiting the banks for the payment of property tax.

Several councillors had urged the Commissioner to extend the rebate period and the same was approved by the BBMP council.

During 2019-20, the BBMP had collected a total of ₹2,729.77 crore as property tax, as against a target of ₹3,500 crore. Of this, around ₹2,668 crore was paid through online modes. “If the lockdown had not been announced towards the end of March, we would have been able to collect an additional ₹150 crore,” an official said.

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