Last year (2009) India’s silicon capital, garden city, I mean Bangalore (very few trees remaining) started accepting property tax on the internet. Delhi launched a similar effort well before Bangalore.
It would be interesting to know from BBMP how many are using the internet to pay their property taxes. The process is very smooth and my observations are,
- The govt has separate site for the corporation & property tax payment. I guess separate teams manage each of these sites.
- One needs to enter just their property id to extract the details, I think they need to ask for property id & another number to generate the property tax application. Else people can be snooping around by just changing the property id and they will have access to all details. Huge privacy issue.
- Usually the details to be filled in the form would be same as the previous year. The system fills everything for you. A huge convenience for citizens.
- After entering the credit card number, PIN etc I got an error message, so I gave up thinking the process failed. But I recd an instant SMS which had the confirmation details.
- The site has a facility to “reprint” the application and payment receipt. Very good thinking. I made an instant use of it.
- The site is not very browser independent. For e.g. printing of payment receipt works better in IE than Firefox. Bad
Paying online eliminates the need of visiting the local BBMP office. It is reasonable to assume each of these office are ill equipped. One had to spend a good 1-2 hours to complete the process of paying property tax. This also eliminates the need to pay any bribes. So I am not sure how the local corporators would compensate this loss of revenue stream.