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Corporation to remind property tax defaulters through SMS
November, 02nd 2015

The Chennai Corporation is planning to identify right vendors for sending short message service (SMS) to residents on civic services and revenue augmentation, among other issues.

“There is a need for creating awareness on a range of civic services. Corporation employees cannot visit each and every household frequently for civic services. We will be relying more on SMS,” said an official.

For instance, many residents were not aware that property tax payment for a half-year had to be made before the 15th of the commencement of the period. The corporation had collected only Rs.45 crore as property tax for the half year period of October 2015-March 2016. “The rest of the assessees assume they have time until March next year. They are actually defaulters and messages will be sent to their mobile phones soon,” said an official.

The corporation was able to collect just eight lakh mobile numbers from property tax assessees. The civic body was planning to strengthen its resources capability to send SMS to all residents.

The number of professional tax assessees was also expected to increase after an awareness drive through SMS. Currently, a database of one lakh professional tax assessees was maintained by the corporation. Every income generator earning Rs.3,500 per month had to pay professional tax. Unlike property tax, professional tax had to be paid by the end of a half year based on gross income.

Field inspection followed by SMS to residents was likely to be carried out for purifying data on professional tax assessees. Information on public health camps, waste segregation and other initiatives would also reach residents after improvement of the system.

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