Residents who have not paid property tax to the Chennai Corporation will soon be told that their property will be seized. The list of assessees who have failed to pay their tax even 15 days after the deadline will be generated for action shortly.
Chennai Corporation has instructed Revenue Department officials to initiate measures to serve a ‘distraint warrant’ for failure to pay property tax. The Chennai Corporation has to pay more than Rs.200 crore for major infrastructure project works completed in the city. The civic body is planning to improve property tax collection to meet the expenses.
If taxes are not paid by any of the 12 lakh property tax assessees in the city, the property could be seized and sold for the amount of taxes and expenses due. The officer will first demand payment of the tax due and the warrant fee. The revenue officials will seize such movable property of the defaulter, make an inventory of the property seized, and give a copy of the inventory and the notice of sale. A week’s notice is served for paying the amount due and redeeming the property seized. A recent study estimated an arrears of property tax to the tune of more than Rs.1,000 crore. However, after officials pointed to flaws in the study, the Corporation is currently re-evaluating the data. Earlier, the civic body tried to get government approval to disconnect water and power supply to houses and business establishments that do not pay property tax. The government is yet to give approval.