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Indian city raises stink over Intel's unpaid taxes

The next time you think that paying your U.S. taxes stinks, be thankful you're not living in a place where that is literally true.

Garbage trucks at Intel India in Bengaluru via PublicTV Twitter feedGarbage trucks at Intel Bengaluru, India, offices as dispute over property taxes escalates. (Photo via PublicTV India Twitter feed

Global computer chip maker Intel found out that owing taxes in India can really stink.

When workers arrived at Intel's office in Bengaluru, India (some might recognize it as Bangalore) on Monday, Aug. 8, they found loaded garbage trucks parked on the company's campus. The annoyingly aromatic vehicles were directed to the high tech company's facilities in what is known as the Silicon Valley of India to compel Intel to pay its allegedly delinquent property tax bill.

Officials with Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), the administrative body responsible for the city's civic and infrastructure projects, say that Intel Technology India Pvt. Ltd did not pay appropriate real estate taxes between 2007 and 2008.

The total due, according to the city officials, is more than $5 million in U.S. currency.

Property type in question: The issue, according to Quartz India, is the type of space upon which the taxes are owed. Intel India reportedly has been paying taxes for non-air conditioned premises, while its building is centrally air-conditioned.

A spokesman for BBMP told the Economic Times of India that while the Indian office had partially paid property tax, the government wanted the rest of the tax. The $5 million overdue amount, per the city's calculations, includes past-due amounts for the land that Intel acquired and on which it built its product development office.

In July, Intel challenged the BBMP assessment notice in court. The judicial body ordered the the American multinational technology giant to deposit half of what BBMP said it owed.

That, apparently, was not done. So BBMP sent out the garbage trucks.

That, apparently, worked, at least as far as getting what the court ordered the company to remit.

Dump trucks next time: A BBMP official followed the trucks to Intel's office to collect the legally-mandated $2.5 million, according to the Economic Times. The company reportedly has promised to pay that amount by Aug. 28.

If it fails to do so, hold your nose Intel India workers.

Bengaluru officials say the trucks will be back and this time, they'll dump the vehicles' contents on the Intel campus to expose it as a property tax defaulter.

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