BMA to inspect farms on prime plots
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BMA to inspect farms on prime plots

Move comes amid drop in tax collection

Chadchart: Wants to boost City Hall income
Chadchart: Wants to boost City Hall income

The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) is planning to investigate landowners who are growing fruit and vegetables on their undeveloped land in the capital to avoid paying taxes on vacant plots.

Speaking after a meeting of BMA executive officials on Monday, Bangkok governor Chadchart Sittipunt said in Ratchathewi district alone, the BMA should be able to collect about four million baht in land taxes each year.

However, as many landowners in the district have planted fruit and vegetables on their vacant plots to make it look like they are using it for agricultural purposes, the BMA was only collected about 300,000 baht in taxes each year since the policy was launched, he said.

Mr Chadchart said as a result of the practice, the BMA loses around 100 million baht in lost tax revenue every year. He instructed BMA officials to inspect all plots which have been repurposed as agricultural land to avoid taxes, including a 100-rai plot in Huai Khwang district.

The governor also instructed officials at the Department of Land Transport (DLT) to chase down motorists who have not paid tax on their vehicles.

Before the pandemic, vehicle tax revenue reached 13 billion baht. However, that figure dropped to around 12 billion baht between 2019 and last year.

The BMA will sign an agreement with the DLT which would enable City Hall to collect motorists' data in an effort to crack down on tax evaders, Mr Chadchart said.

Revenue from fines issued for traffic offences also declined to around 200 million baht during the pandemic. The BMA will coordinate with the police to resolve the matter, he said. The BMA will also amend some laws to allow City Hall to collect taxes from alternative sources, such as tobacco, hotels and lodgings, as well as fuel, the governor said.

He added the BMA is considering imposing taxes and levies to protect the environment along the lines of London's congestion charge and Singapore's Electronic Road Pricing.

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