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The plea states that many property owners are not in a position to pay property tax due to non-payment of rent by tenants owing to the pandemic.
The Karnataka High Court recently issued notice in a plea seeking directions to grant exemption from payment of property tax for the year 2020-21 due to COVID-19 and the consequent financial distress.
The Division Bench of Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice Ashok S Kinagi issued notice to the state government and Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP).
The plea filed before the High Court states that the Central and state governments have given various benefits to the general public and had announced various packages to different sectors including industries and tourism in view of the pandemic.
However, no incentive was given to owners of residential as well as non-residential buildings, says the petition. The plea adds that many property owners are not in a position to pay property tax due to non-payment of rent by tenants owing to the pandemic.
The plea goes on to submit that in an interview, the State Minister of Revenue had said that landlords/property owners are not entitled to demand payment of rent or evict persons from buildings during the pandemic. In case of any violation, he had also forewarned that violators would face criminal proceedings envisaged under the Disaster Management Act, the plea says.
The petitioner, Advocate K Gurudhatta, had submitted a representation to the state authorities on May 11, asking them to waive off property tax for the present financial year, owing to the hardships posed by COVID-19. However, no response was received.
Thus, the petitioner approached the High Court seeking a direction to the authorities to waive off property tax for this year.
The petitioner has also urged the Court to direct the authorities to respond to his May 11 representation.
Advocate Amruthesh will appear for the petitioner. The matter will be next heard on August 27.
[Read plea here]