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Taxation

Property tax for vacant lands in Chennai

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The Hindu       09.09.2014   

Property tax for vacant lands in Chennai

Owners of vacant lands in Chennai city will have to pay property tax similar to the residents of municipalities in other parts of the State.

To augment its revenue, the Chennai Corporation has planned to levy property tax on vacant lands on area basis. The civic body’s Town Planning Section will grant building approval only after the property tax assessment and payment for the vacant lands are made by the owner concerned. Municipalities that were merged with the Chennai Corporation had been collecting the tax for vacant land following a government order in 2009. After the merger, the tax was not collected by the corporation. The councils of Town Panchayats, Third Grade Municipalities and Municipalities that were merged were also empowered to fix the rate of property tax on vacant lands that were not used for agricultural purposes. The maximum rate per square foot in a local body was fixed at 60 paise. The minimum rate was 10 paise, said an official.

 

 

Civic body to assess property tax

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The Times of India        08.09.2014 

Civic body to assess property tax

 

CHENNAI: The city corporation will soon take up a massive exercise to assess properties in the extended areas to be able to format a uniform tax. This is the first time the civic body will be framing guidelines since the city expanded in 2011.

It had been found that many people were carrying on commercial activities from residential properties and paying low residential property tax, said a corporation official. "So we will assess the change of property usage as well as check on owners renting out their spaces and revise the tax accordingly," he said. The number of taxpayers increased from 6.5 lakh to 10.82 lakh after the city's expansion but Chennai still has the lowest property tax collections among all metros.

Property tax collection, the corporation's biggest revenue earner, has been hit hard due to late payments as well as by the civic body's failure to revise the tax since 1998. A proposal to levy a penalty of 2% on residents failing to pay within the half-yearly deadline has been pending with the government for more than a year. Despite a law stipulating that tax be revised once every five years, officials say nothing moved forward due to political pressure.

Property tax is collected twice a year, before April 15 and October 15. "There are several habitual defaulters, but at present there are no provisions to fine them," an official said. "Unless we bring in a fine like in the case of electricity or water tax, people will not pay up in time," he said. Shortfalls in property tax collection eventually impacts infrastructure schemes and there is pressure on tax assessors to perform better.

The corporation recently initiated a lot of activities to boost tax collection. On all Saturdays through September, special camps will be held at zonal offices to update property tax records. "There are complaints from residents that online payments on the corporation website aren't getting updated. At the special camps, to be held between 10am and 5.45pm, residents can get payment details updated, lodge grievances, file legal cases and revision petitions and discuss new assessments and other matters," said an official. 

 

Tax Collection on 'Wheels' Launched

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The New Indian Express             06.01.2014

Tax Collection on 'Wheels' Launched

Vellore Corporation has introduced a mobile tax office recently to collect tax from newly constructed buildings.

The bus, which was introduced as a pilot test,  can be used by zonal officers and revenue inspectors to reach spots and levy tax after identifying newly constructed buildings. The officers will measure the buildings and calculate tax, for which a chalan would be issued to the proprietor of the building.

Since its introduction about a week back, tax was levied on nearly 60 new buildings in zone I- Dharapadavedu area, 20 new buildings in zone II - Sathuvachari. The bus would be on rounds till January 8.

“The facility had helped the corporation impose tax on 80 new buildings in Zone I and II so far,” said Town Planning Officer M Kanna.

Officials said if the initiative may become a permanently feature. The Corporation also recently opened the weekend tax collection centres that would function on Saturdays and Sundays, to facilitate officer-goers to pay tax. “There was a favourable response to tax collection centres working during weekends,” Kannan said.

Hitherto, the Corporation could collect only 65 per cent revenue of the total income of local body from all sources, for the year 2012-2013. The officials said the new initiatives would help them achieve a higher percentage in terms of collecting taxes.

 


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