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Property Tax – 1

May 4, 2012

So, V & I payed our first building property tax on Saturday! We have been paying property tax for our site for the last couple of years, but since our ‘abode’ was built only mid last year, we paid building property tax for the first time. And by paying, I meant we did it all by ourselves- right from collecting the application, submitting it, attaching all the required n+1 documents, everything.

Ok, so why did I leave out the ‘filling up application’  part? That was, as the entire form was in Kannada and even with all the Kannada I know, I just didn’t want to take the risk of filling up a very technical form the first time. We just got a clerk at the BBMP office to fill it for us. It’s going to be very easy the next time. All I have to do is copy paste write the whole thing.

It was not as though it was was so easy.. as if I would have taken the trouble to post it here if it had been oh so simple..

When we went to the office in the morning, we handed over our application to the clerk and requested him to fill it for us. He asked us for some documents and after checking them, passed them on to the Senior officer (Bill collector?) there.

BC to us: What is the plot size?

Me: ‘ x feet x y feet 

BC: ‘Ok..’ and quickly verifies it in the sanctioned plan.’What is the  built up area?

Me: ‘It is mentioned there..abcd square feet’

BC:‘No, not that. I want the actual built up area and not the sanctioned area. Your building will definitely not be built exactly as per the sanctioned plan. Just give me the break-up area of the floors’

I hesitated when I heard that. The figures just didn’t come to my head. And what if he decided to fine me on the spot for err.. the ‘violation’.? After some quick thinking,I told him, ‘ I just don’t have the exact figures with me. Will go back and get them’ and hurried with V from there with the documents.

Wondering what V was doing all the while? Poor chap, he was just watching and trying to get in to the conversation with some Hindi, but what do you think the BC preferred to hear? My Kannada, of course!

As always, we decided to take Appa’s help. I called up Appa.

Me: Appa, they are asking for the actual built up area. Is that how it is?

Appa: I am not sure..did you show him your Business card?

Me: No..

Appa: You should always carry it with you. If you had shown it to him, he would have trusted your words and not objected to it at all.

But I didn’t even remember the area! I can be really dumb at times. And I have never felt like using my professional identity to get things done at the BBMP offices, though I have heard more than a couple of people advising me to do so-to get my work done hassle free. But I always hesitate and still not sure why.

 Anyway, Appa suggested we go the BBMP office near my Parents’ place and request one Mr. L to help us. Mr. L was some one Appa had be friended during his visits to the BBMP office. We went there and found it very crowded. I spotted Mr. L and waited in the ‘horizontal’ queue to catch his attention. Finally I managed to do so.

Me : Namaste Mr. L, I am Mr. R’s daughter.. Just wanted a help in filling up our property tax form. Do we fill in the sanctioned plan area or the actual plan built up area?

Mr. L : The actual plan area only!

Me: Is that ok, Mr. L..I mean  there is some difference between the two..

Mr. L: Ya ya, it is ok..which building in Bangalore is not like that now?

I just smiled hearing this. It is an open secret that 99.95% buildings ( residential, commercial, industrial et all) are just not built as per what is shown in the sanction plan. But to hear it from a person from the office was kind of re-assuring!

We went back to the first BBMP office, gave all the details and got our form filled by the clerk. We wanted to take a photo copy of all the documents and the form we were submitting, but discovered the ‘xerox’ shop in the vicinity was not functional. That meant we had to go the main road to get the photocopies and V hadn’t got his helmet along. As he had recently received a penalty notice for no offense committed and which I had posted about in this, he didn’t want to be caught this time by actually commiting the offense.

We informed the clerk that we would come back with the photo copies, rushed home, grabbed the helmet and made a dash to the ‘xerox’ shop. We had to hurry up as it was nearing lunch time and didn’t want to wait till evening to finish the work.

Luckily for us, the office was still open when we returned and managed to pay the tax. But they just gave us an acknowledgement and not a receipt as their server was reportedly down and they couldn’t complete the formalities. We have to go back this saturday to collect the receipt.

This ends here but the day was far from over. What happened after this at the ‘Bangalore One’ centre when we went from here to pay my Parents’ property tax was completely different and calls for another post, hopefully soon!

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