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City to adopt uniform property tax

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The Hindu         21.04.2017 

City to adopt uniform property tax

Corporation forms committee which will soon rationalise the rates

The Greater Chennai Corporation will have a uniform system of property tax calculation, changing the existing anomalies caused by different methods of calculation in erstwhile municipalities, town panchayats and panchayats that were merged in 2009.

The Chennai Corporation on Thursday held the first meeting for revising the different property tax rates and procedure in calculation of tax being followed in different neighbourhoods of the city.

Officials said a number of complaints had been received from residents in added areas, claiming that property tax rates were high in developing areas when compared with developed parts of the city.

Residents in some neighbourhoods in the recently-added areas, such as Ambattur, have complained that they were paying more property tax than those in well-developed areas such as T. Nagar that fetch higher rental values, officials said.

Therefore, the civic body has formed a committee of officials to develop a uniform system for calculation of property tax in the entire city. “The general revision of property tax was carried out in 1998 in the old city limits. But the erstwhile local bodies that were merged in 2009 revised the property tax in 2008. This has led to an anomaly,” said an official.

As per the provisions of the Tamil Nadu District Municipalities Act, 1920 and Tamil Nadu Village Panchayat Act, 1994, the property tax basic rates and the calculation procedure have been fixed by the respective councils of the local bodies that were merged in 2009.

Different method

Ambattur and Thiruvottiyur zones use a different method of calculation of property tax, when compared with the old city zones such as Teynampet, Adyar, Royapuram, Tondiarpet, Thiru-Vi.Ka Nagar, Kodambakkam and Anna Nagar.

But multiple methods of calculation is adopted within zones such as Manali, Madhavaram, Valasaravakkam, Perungudi, Alandur and Sholinganallur, creating confusion among residents who have constructed houses or commercial buildings in such areas after 2011.

The Corporation has streetwise basic rates for property tax with discount for owners who occupy their buildings. As the discount is not available for other residents in the merged areas, they have been protesting, said officials. The committee will soon suggest a basic rate for the city, rationalise the tax, following a uniform method of calculation of property tax for the entire 426 sq km of the city.


Corporation plans to collect user charges

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The Hindu      12.04.2017 

Corporation plans to collect user charges

Rates will be fixed according to property tax

City residents across the 100 Wards will soon have to shell out money every month to pay towards solid waste management.

Sources said that the corporation had not yet fixed the amount the residents would have to pay but was in the process of drafting the by-laws for the same.

The by-laws would form part of the Municipal Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016 that the Union Government had framed recently.

Sources in the civic body said that the once it finalised the draft by-laws, the corporation would make it public inviting suggestions.

Thereafter it would obtain the State Government’s permission to publish the same in gazette for implementation.

The corporation’s move comes almost six years after it made a similar attempt to collect user charges under the the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission.

After spending around Rs. 100 crore for improving solid waste collection and management in the city, the corporation drafted by-laws for collecting user fee.

The by-laws said that the civic body would collect Rs. 10, Rs. 20 and Rs. 30 a month from houses based on the property tax.

The corporation, however, had to defer collection following opposition from Councillors.

To date, the corporation did not collect user charges.

Now the civic body was making a renewed effort, the sources said and added that this time it would do so.

MDMK’s State youth wing secretary V. Eswaran, who is fighting a case at the National Green Tribunal against the corporation, said that there was no necessity for the corporation to collect the charges. There was several other ways the corporation could raise money - the first being plugging wastages in waste collection.

The corporation would do well to also streamline the transport system for waste collection, where it was heavily losing money, he added.


Record haul as corporation collects 650 crore property tax

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The Times of India      26.03.2017  

Record haul as corporation collects 650 crore property tax

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CHENNAI: With over Rs 650 crore earned so far, Greater Chennai Corporation has netted a record total in property tax collection for the fiscal 2016-17.

According to revenue department officials of the civic body, the city's 11.70 lakh assessees have contributed a little over Rs 654 crore so far, enabling the corporation to surpass its property tax collection target for the year. The sum collected so far also represents an increase of around Rs 70 crore from the last year.

Together with professional tax revenue, which crossed the Rs 240-crore mark, the collection is a significant increase in revenue generated by the local body. The professional tax collected so far is an increase of over 10% from the last year's figures. And with five more days to go before the end of the financial year, officials expect to add on to these numbers by a sizeable margin. "We expect to collect another Rs 20-25 crore property tax. The last two days are frantic usually because assessees turn up in huge numbers to pay their dues," said an official.

Despite a setback during cyclone Vardah, officials said they "worked hard", although there was staff shortage, to meet the target of Rs 650 crore set in the local body's budget document. Meanwhile, the central government's move to demonetise high value currencies in November 2016 also came as a blessing in disguise for the corporation.

"In a two-day period within the first week of demonetisation, we collected over Rs 25 crore property tax. We were able to clear a significant portion of the arrears as well within 15 days (of the announcement)," an official said.

Unlike the previous year, revenue officials also steered clear of controversies when attempting to get large sum defaulters to pay up. Last year, officials involved transgender people who played drums or dumped garbage at the doorstep of business or residence to call upon attention to the defaulter. These measures proved unpopular and attracted criticism for the local body. "We served them with notices and judiciously followed up all cases we could," a senior official said.

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