Chief Minister MK Stalin on Wednesday hinted at non-withdrawal of property tax hike by asking the Opposition parties and DMK allies to not indulge in politics in the development of the State. He appealed to them to set aside their political differences and extend their support to the initiative of the State government.
“We have not increased the property tax willingly and I am admitting it wholeheartedly. There is a compulsion to the government to manage the situation when the civic bodies are not in a position to get funds,” said Stalin, while responding to the calling attention motion introduced by Leader of Opposition Edappadi K Palaniswami and leaders of DMK allies.
Earlier, Palaniswami urged the State government to withdraw the hike in property tax. “In the last two years of Covid pandemic people suffered a lot and the hike in property tax has come as a rude shock for the people,” said EPS, who also said that DMK by hiking the property tax has violated its poll promise of not hiking the property tax unless the economy bounces back to normalcy.
Similarly, Congress party leader K Selvaperunthagai, BJP legislative party leader Nainar Nagendran, PMK floor leader GK Mani, CPM party leader Nagai Mali, CPI party leader Thalli Ramanchandran, Manithaneya Makkal Katchi floor leader MH Jawahirullah and Puratchi Bharatham leader Jagan Moorthy raised the same issue in the Assembly and urged the State government to atleast reduce the property tax, if not for withdrawing the entire property tax.
Replying to the demands of various political parties, minister for Municipal Administration KN Nehru justified the property tax hike by saying that tax revision will not affect 83 per cent of people living in urban areas as they will fall into the category of 25% and 50% tax hike. It has been done as per the recommendations of 15th Finance Commission’s recommendation to fix minimum floor rates. It was mandated to receive funds from the Union government for the urban local bodies under Swachh Bharat 2.0 and Amrut 2.0, he added
Not satisfied with the reply of both Stalin and Nehru, AIADMK and BJP MLAs walked out of the Assembly.