Chennai

No relief from property tax anomalies for city residents

Residents in the city continue to be affected by arbitrary decisions of the Chennai Corporation in arriving at a revised property tax.

Owners of flats of the same size in one apartment complex pay each half year different amounts as property tax, even a year after the government revised it.

According to a resident of Ramaniyam Kamadhenu Apartments in K.K. Nagar, the Corporation has fixed different property tax for different owners occupying the same sized flats.

“In my case, it is a very steep increase from ₹1,890 to ₹4,890. For three other owners on the same floor, of the same flat size, the property tax has been fixed at ₹2,795, ₹3,325 and ₹3,530,” said a resident.

‘Reduce tax’

Ambattur resident S. Swaminathan said the owner of a 1,000-sq ft house in the area was asked to pay ₹4,350. But the owners of the same size flats 1,000-sq ft building on several roads of Anna Nagar, Besant Nagar and Mylapore pay only ₹1,350.

“We want the government to reduce the property tax in suburban areas like ours, and rectify the anomaly,” he demanded.

B. Judy, a resident of Nolambur, said many residents in her apartment complex were paying different amounts of property tax after the revision, and had requested officials to rectify the anomaly, but so far it has not been corrected.

Former councillor P.V. Tamil Selvan said residents had stepped up their campaign for reducing the property tax in many areas, ahead of the local body elections. “All earlier campaigns have failed. Now residents are demanding that the government rectify all anomalies. Residents say this is the right time to get the government to fix the loopholes in property tax assessment,” he said. Many residents in areas such as Ambattur, Alandur and Tiruvottiyur have planned to intensify their campaign against the arbitrary nature of the increase in property tax. Residents’ associations have planned to convene meetings to resolve issues relating to the revision of property tax.

“We agree that there is a need to increase revenue of the Corporation by augmentation of property tax. But the increase in property tax of many residents and traders has been made based on arbitrary decisions of officials,” said Harbour MLA P.K. Sekar Babu.

“The local administration has to strike a balance between the need to increase tax and public concerns. The implementation of a policy should not affect the common man. There is a delay in disposal of cases pertaining to appeal by affected property tax assessees,” he pointed out.

Former Council Floor Leader V. Sukumar Babu said many commercial establishments reported 2,000% increase in tax.

“The crisis in the economy is affecting their businesses. Suddenly, they have been asked to pay several lakh rupees as property tax,” he said.

Self-assessment

Corporation officials said the increase in property tax was made based on self-assessment of the property and data collected by drone surveys in various parts of the city.

“Many properties have been under-assessed. More than 50% of the 12 lakh property tax assessees are reportedly paying tax based on misleading data. We are checking the data,” said an official.

Article source: https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/no-relief-from-property-tax-anomalies-for-city-residents/article29753470.ece

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