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Property tax exemption not automatic, says HC

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The Hindu           23.11.2017 

Property tax exemption not automatic, says HC

It directs two hospitals to pay one-third of arrears

The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court on Wednesday observed that benefits conferred under Section 122 (e) of the Madurai City Municipal Corporation Act were not automatic.

Hearing petitions filed by two private hospitals seeking exemption from property tax, the court directed them to pay one-third of the arrears to the corporation subject to its final orders on exemption.

Justice R. Mahadevan, who heard the petitions filed by Velammal Educational Trust and S. R Trust (running the Meenakshi Mission Hospital and Research Centre) observed that the hospitals were at liberty to make a representation to the Madurai Corporation within six weeks to seek exemption. The corporation shall pass appropriate orders after considering the representations and conducting proper investigation of the premises. The daily rent charged by the hospitals on patients shall also be considered, the court said.

Counsels for the petitioners Niranjan S. Kumar and S. Ramesh argued that the hospitals were entitled for exemption under Section 86 (e) of the Tamil Nadu District Municipalities Act, 1920, and under Section 122 (e) of the Madurai City Municipal Corporation Act as charitable hospitals and dispensaries, excluding residential quarters, were exempted from property tax. They argued that notices were sent to the hospitals without giving them an opportunity to present their stance on exemption from property tax.

Additional Advocate General B. Pugalendhi argued that the hospitals were not run purely for charitable purposes and charges were collected from patients. No evidence was provided by them on the claims that the poor and needy were charged only nominal fees.

Exemption under Section 80 G of the Income Tax Act by itself would not entitle the petitioners to seek an exemption from property tax. As the hospitals had rented out parts of their premises to run canteens and were collecting parking fees for vehicles, they were not automatically exempted from property tax, said the Additional Advocate General.

The petitions were filed by the hospitals after the Corporation Commissioner sent notice asking them to pay property tax dues.


‘688 shops have paid property tax’

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The Hindu       21.07.2017

‘688 shops have paid property tax’

The Chennai Corporation on Thursday informed the Madras High Court that 688 shops of the 729 in Koyambedu market had paid property tax arrears totalling Rs. 1,67,80,000. The court on July 18 directed the civic body to seal all the shops that had not paid even the non-revised property tax till date.

Justice N.Kirubakaran to whom the particulars were furnished by the Additional Advocate General Manishankar, recorded the submission and the fact that some more time was sought to collect the balance amount by the Corporation.

Case posted to July 27

The Judge then posted the matter for further hearing to July 27.


After closure order from Madras HC, property tax remittance by Koyambedu shops touches Rs 1.36 crore in a single day

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The Times of India          20.07.2017

After closure order from Madras HC, property tax remittance by Koyambedu shops touches Rs 1.36 crore in a single day

Koyambedu market in Chennai
CHENNAI: Property tax payment to the tune of Rs 1.36 crore poured into the coffer of the Chennai Corporation in a single day from the shop owners in Koyambedu market, after the Madras high court ordered closure of 729 defaulting shops.

On Tuesday, Justice N Kirubakaran censured the higher officials of the corporation for "deliberately failing" to collect property tax to the tune of Rs 2.48 crore for the shops in Koyambedu market and directed the authorities to seal 729 defaulting shops.

The judge passed the interim order on a plea moved by the shop owners assailing the property tax demand made by the corporation from 1996 to 2015.

After the news broke about the closure order, defaulting shop owners started remitting the tax arrears which totalled Rs 1.36 crore in a single day.

When the plea came up for hearing on Thursday, the authorities filed a report on the developments and submitted that they have also sealed 39 shops which were still found to be defaulting tax payment. The officials sought some more time for further action.

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We need many Judges in line with Judge Kirubakaran of Chennai High Court. Interim closure order of 729 shops at Koyambedu for non payment of tax to City Corporation. The Judge proclaimed that the civ... Read MoreA Xavier

Recording the submissions, the judge adjourned the hearing by a week.

During earlier hearings, the judge also pulled up the officials for not revising the tax since 1998 despite the fact that the City Municipal Corporation Act, 1919 mandates such revision once in four years.
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