A Chennai Corporation official said that the more than 92,600 property owners paid Rs 63.86 crore between October 1 and October 15. “Also, we adjusted the excess amount paid by more than 4 lakh property owners for the current half-year. Several property owners paid taxes based on the revised rates, which is higher than the existing tax rates. However, the government withheld the revision, based on which we adjusted the excess amount paid by the owners. All the four lakh property owners paid taxes for the current half-year while paying for the previous half-year. The tax paid by those four lakh owners is close to Rs 120 crore, which can not be added to this half year’s collection,” the official explained.
It may be noted that the civic body managed to collect Rs 159 crore as property tax during the first half (April to September) of the fiscal. During the previous years, the civic body had managed to collect more than Rs 300 crore in one half of the financial year, but the COVID-19 lockdown affected the tax collection this year.
The official added that the tax collection achieved in the last 15 days is highest when compared to the collections made in the first 15 days. Property owners should pay property tax twice a year before April 15 and October 15. To encourage property owners, the civic body had introduced 5 per cent incentive for persons paying the taxes on time and 2 per cent per cent penalty for others with a retrospective effect from October 1, 2019. “We provided Rs 4.28 crore as an incentive for around 5 lakh property owners and others will have to pay 2 per cent penalty. There are 12 lakh property tax assessments in the city,” the official said.
Meanwhile, Motilal Street Residents’ Welfare Association pointed out that the civic body has been imposing penalty starting from 2017-18. “We will levy a penalty of 2 per cent if owners have old dues which had to be paid before October 2019,” the official explained.
Also, several residents and tax collectors complain that they could not get payment receipt. “Receipts for online payments are not generated in several cases. Tax collectors are also facing the same issue. There is also confusion as the old tax rates are shown for many properties,” a tax collector said.