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Property tax: Corpn to take stock of vacant sites to boost revenue
The civic body coffers had taken a hit after the State announced it would withhold revision of property tax.
After the Greater Chennai Corporation’s revenue fell once the State government announcement withholding the revision of property tax, the civic body has decided to take stock of the number of vacant sites and its tax collection to make up for the lost revenue.
An official said that there 17,464 vacant plots in the city that have been identified. “But, according to our estimation there would be around 25,000 to 30,000 vacant sites in Chennai. Most of the plots are located in the extended zones,” he said.
Meanwhile, in an internal meeting, the civic body decided to increase tax imposed on vacant plots. Currently, the civic body collects property tax from building owners based on the size of the building and is location. So, for example, property tax rates are different in Choolaimedu and Besant Nagar.
On the other hand, the Corporation collects property tax for vacant sites on the same rate irrespective of their location. Owners of the plots have to pay 50 paisa per square feet to the civic body. On average, the civic body collects Rs10 crore as tax from the vacant plots.
“In the meeting, we decided to take stock of the vacant plots by using digital information available with the civic body. We will also conduct a field-level identification drive in all the zones and may get more information from the registration department,” the official said.
For owners who have not paid taxes for a long time, the civic body is entitled to collect property tax for 13-and-a-half years when the owners apply for building plan permission.
Speaking about if the civic body manages to collect the same amount of tax as was the case the property tax revision was withheld, the official said, “Earlier, we used to collect about Rs 3 crore per day. Now, however, we collect Rs 1.25 crore a day,” the official said.
Till Tuesday, the civic body received Rs 735 crore as property tax, of which, only Rs 1.15 crore was collected on Tuesday.