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Many schools dodge taxes

Finances & Budgets

Most of these schools are making a killing in the name of imparting education in English medium. The norms in the Karnataka Municipal Corporation (KMC) Act too have helped the educational institutions to thrive, as it offers a major concession in property tax.

They have to pay just one-fourth of the amount paid by residential building owners.

Despite enjoying so many benefits, they haven’t paid the tax for the last many years, documents accessed by Deccan Herald under the Right to Information (RTI) Act show.
Deccan Herald has details of 566 institutions, of which 127 educational institutions are defaulters.

Reputed institutions

East West College at Herohalli, Kumaran’s School at Uttarahalli, Prarthana School, Delhi Public School at Konanakunte Cross, Dayananda Sagar Group of Institutions, Vidyaniketana School, Jnana Sweekar College on Kanakapura Road under Kengeri RO sub division, Vokkaligara Sangha and RR Vidya Samsthe under RR Nagar RO sub-division are the prominent defaulters.

Jain College, which annually pays more than Rs 30 lakh, paid all the taxes in time except for 2008-09. PES College in Girinagar has an arrears of Rs 1.19 lakh.

Dayananda Sagar Group has not paid taxes for the last five years. But, sources said, the assessment of the total property suggests that the amount payable is Rs 1.04 crore per annum.

When contacted, the chief executive officer of Prarthana School, Umesh Hegde, blamed the Padmanabhanagar revenue officer for assessing property tax at commercial rates.

‘Cannot afford’

“We never like to be called defaulters. We had approached the revenue officers, but they asked us to pay an hefty amount. How can we afford paying Rs seven lakh or Rs eight lakh per annum? We were never told about the concession,” said Hegde.

A similar statement came from the Jnana Sweekar management, who said they were not in any arrears of tax and the Palike authorities had given wrong information.

Palike’s fault

Documents also suggest that many of revenue offices of the Palike are in a state of mess and the revenue officers are not so keen about collecting taxes. Of the 24 revenue offices, 12 are in shambles. The worst among them are the offices in Pulakeshinagar, Kengeri, Shivajinagar, Lakshmidevi Nagar, Dasarahalli, Kadugondanahalli and Peenya.

However, Hebbal revenue office is the best not only in terms of maintenance of records but also tax collection. Hebbal has no defaulters. Shettihalli and JC Road are also among the better managed offices.

‘A disgrace’

Palike Commissioner Siddaiah said: “It is a disgrace for the institutions. It is also a slap on our face that we have failed to collect taxes. We will launch a drive to recover all the dues.”

Deccan Herald, July 20, 2011

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