Condemning the decision of Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) to introduce the Capital Value-based System (CVS) of property tax in the city from April 2008, two former Congress Mayors on Thursday demanded that the existing system of calculating tax based on the annual rental value under the Self-assessment Scheme (SAS) be continued.

Addressing presspersons here, the former Mayors, P.R. Ramesh and J. Huchappa, termed the BBMP move to introduce the new tax system in the absence of an elected body in the BBMP as “undemocratic.”

Referring to the resolution on the introduction of CVS approved by Administrator Dilip Rau recently, Mr. Ramesh pointed out that the administrator had no powers to take policy decisions. “Such a major change in the taxation system has to be approved by the Council. The administrator can approve it only if there is a direction from the Government in that regard.

However, it was approved in a hurried manner though the Legislative Assembly was also not in place,” he said.

Mr. Ramesh said he had served a legal notice on the Chief Secretary and the Principal Secretary through his lawyer seeking that the new system should be withdrawn.

Moreover, though the resolution states that the new system will come into force from April 1, 2008, it is being imposed on new buildings, additions, alterations and buildings that are not assessed. Mr. Huchappa, who recalled that SAS was introduced in 2000 after several public discussions and debates, said, “It was introduced during my tenure. I had allowed a wide public debate and a healthy discussion in the Council before approving it. The Commissioner should have waited till a Council is in place.”