I went to pay my annual property tax…luckily for me, helpful neighbours informed me that the office where I would have to pay had shifted from the Koramangala complex to a building on a road near Ranga Shankara…otherwise, like a friend of mine, I would have wasted some time on a visit to that office.
When I went at 3.30pm to the J P Nagar office, I found a few people in the queue…I got the form and the booklet, but was NOT given,even though I repeatedly asked for it, the booklet that would let me know in which "zone" my apartment building was included. (The zone has changed since the 2000 SAS evaluation.)
Also, though there is a board with some "worked-out" examples at the office, no one could possibly stand in front of it and do hes own calculations. So I would caution everyone that before filling in the forms, they must have the following information:
1. Plinth area (or built-up area) or their residence/apartment.
2. The PID no. (which is given on the last receipt.)
3. All the calculations of the amounts based on the square footage of their residence, the cess applicable on the tax, the depreciation on the buiding (which goes up commensurate to the age of the building), and the 5% rebate on the tax.
4. Cash or the cheque with the correct amount written in, and duly crossed.
Even after having all these ready, I would suggest that one brings home the form, sits down comfortably…and first fills in the form in pencil, and then, when one is sure that all the details have been filled in properly, fill it in ink. I would also suggest that they buy an extra form, which costs only Rs.5, and fill that in,too, and keep it as their record of the working out of the tax.
Today, it took me some time to fill in the form, by which time, the queue had lengthened quite a bit. I had some urgent work that could not wait, so when I came back, I found the power off, only one clerk instead of the afternoon’s four, working in the light of a candle. So I gave up the attempt to pay today, and came away; I will go at 3pm tomorrow and pay it.
So…it’s not the easiest task to pay your property taxes; I saw several people being turned away because there was some mistake or the other in their forms. This is NOT a five-minute procedure, so please be prepared to spend time over it. At the J P Nagar office, there was no one to help us with filling our forms.
Also, after the 15th or the 20th, as the end of the rebate period nears, there are likely to be more people at the counters, so the waiting period may be longer.
I must also mention that the office building did not have any shade to shelter the people who had come to pay their taxes…. ⊕