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Metro Water rolls back tax hike, residents heave a sigh of relief
Following the furore among city residents over hike in water tax despite the revision in property tax rates being put on hold, the Chennai Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board (Metro Water) has decided not to issue demand notices. Official sources added that the decision to roll back the hike would soon be updated on its website.
“The Metro Water revised the water/sewerage tax based on the hike in the property tax rates effective from April 2018, and started collecting tax at the new rate. Now that the property tax revision has been put on hold by the Corporation, Metro Water too should take similar action and correct records on its website,” urged the T Nagar Residents’ Welfare Association in a petition to the water manager.
Property owners have to pay 30 per cent of the assessment rate as taxes to the civic body and water utility. Of the 30 per cent, 23 per cent would be collected as property tax by the Corporation and 7 per cent would be collected by the Metro Water. Soon after the civic body revised tax rates in 2018, Metro Water had hiked the water tax.
However, following the complaints of exorbitant property tax after the revision, the State government had issued an order withholding the revision, based on which the civic body had rolled back the increased rates a few months ago. A committee has been set up to fix new property tax rates.
“As property tax and water tax are linked, the Metro Water should have kept the water tax hike in abeyance. The administration should make correction on its website,” VS Jayaraman, a member of the association said.
When contacted, a senior Metro Water official said that the utility had stopped issuing tax demand notices to the residents since the property tax revision was withheld. “Residents need not pay the increased tax amount. We will update the rollback on our website even though the financial position of Metro Water is not encouraging,” the official said.
The civic body has updated the rollback on its website and the residents are requested to pay tax as per the old rates. “Residents who were taxed at the increased rates need not pay tax for the current year. The extra money they had paid will be kept as tax advance and will be adjusted in the future. We have also urged the defaulters to pay the dues,” an official said.