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Buildings rented for cellphone towers to pay extra tax
The fund-starved Greater Chennai Corporation can now collect additional property tax from the building owners who have allowed cellphone towers on their properties. A resolution has been passed in the civic body’s special council.
A resolution was passed in 2009 to calculate property tax from the building owners, who have let cell phone towers, based on the rent collected by the owners from the telecom firms. Later, another resolution was passed fixing Rs 15,000 (half-yearly) as property tax for all the buildings. As per records, cell phone towers are erected on 1,739 properties in core city zones.
“However, property owners and telecom firms went to the court demanding to quash the resolutions. In April, the Madras High Court ordered the civic body to not fix uniform (Rs 15,000) property tax and calculate the tax based on the monthly rent collected by the property owners,” the resolution said.
Following the resolution, the civic body will assess the property tax rates of the buildings, where cell phone towers are erected, based on the monthly rent and issue orders to the property owners demanding tax.
The civic body will collect the tax amounts from the property owners with arrear amounts accrued from 2009.
Presently, the civic body collects property tax from building owners based on the usage — whether commercial or residential. Also, property tax is being collected for the vacant plots.
“The order will help the civic body in generating additional revenue as the property tax and professional tax collections in the city are affected due to the COVID-19 pandemic. During the present half-year, we could only manage to collect less than Rs 100 crore as property tax despite the last date for the payment being April 15,” an official said.
Apart from reassessing the property tax for the buildings in the core city zones, assessment will be done for the buildings in extended zones too.