Greater Chennai Corporation
’s property tax collection from April to January has been less than in the previous two years.
Officials blamed it on the confusion over the recent revision of rates and expect to make up the shortfall by the end of the financial year.
After the rate revision, the number of properties assessed has gone up by 2 lakh and Rs 480crore more of tax revenue is expected.
“We have started taking several measures such as placing garbage bins and issuing notices to the defaulters. We are also preparing a list of top defaulters. Our property tax collection will cross Rs 1000 crore, this year,” said deputy commissioner, revenue, R Lalitha.
So far only Rs 502 crore of the Rs 1,200 crore property tax expected has been collected. The highest collection is from Teynampet, Rs 100.7cr, and the lowest is from Thiruvotriyur, Ambattur, Manali, Valasaravakkam and Tondiarpet. Kodambakkam has the highest number of assessees at 1.2 lakh, followed by Adyar, Anna Nagar and Ambattur with around 1 lakh each.
So far, the civic body has revised taxes for 11.7 lakh properties and will cover the remaining in a week’s time, said an official. “Many properties in added areas have been under assessed and after the drone survey and field level inspection, the paperwork is in process. We will add 50,000 properties, this week. We have already started collecting around Rs 5 crore to Rs 7 crore every day. Earlier, our collection used to be Rs 1.5 crore to Rs 2.5crore a day. On the last day of the last financial year, we collected Rs 35crore. This year also, there will be a huge jump in the last two months,” said Lalitha.
But residents continue to complain that the tax revision was unfair and that disparity has increased after revision. “We in added areas were told that our taxes will not be increased, but they have gone up by 100-200%. They say we did not pay the correct tax and there was a mistake in the calculation as basic street rate was not calculated properly by officials. It is definitely not acceptable when people in the city continue to pay less and we are forced to pay higher taxes. We are paying 2.64 per sqft and those in Gopalapuram are paying 1.70 per sqft. Their land value is ten time more than ours,” said S Suresh, general secretary of United Welfare associations, Ambattur.