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Why should we pay more property tax
September, 09th 2019

Jolted by what they consider as a steep rise in property tax of the City Corporation, residents of Tiruverumbur and surroundings that were annexed to the civic body in 2011 have planned to stage protests.

Residents in Tiruverumbur. Kattur, Alathur, Ellakudi and many other localities complain that the civic body's directive to pay the increased tax rates along with arrears pertaining to 2017 was unreasonable.

Speaking to The Hindu, S. Sakthivel, organiser, The Federation of Tiruchi City Residents Welfare Associations, questioned the rationale behind the City Corporation's fixation of higher tax rates without making available adequate facilities.

“The facilities now are the same as when our localities were in panchayat limits. Why then should we pay more,” Mr. Sakthivel wondered.

Residents of wards 61 to 65 had been paying ? 500-600 as annual property tax until 2017 but under the latest tax slabs, the rates hover between ? 5,000 and ? 10,000.

“We have all taken loans and constructed houses to live in peace after retirement. We are still to repay the loans. In such a dire situation, the corporation issues notices warning of drastic action if the tax is not paid,” lamented John Paul, city treasurer, CPI.

When any clarification is sought, an archaic law is quoted by officials, claimed Mr. Sakthivel.

An unpaved road in Balaji Nagar at Tiruverumbur in Tiruchi; (right) members of the Federation of Tiruchi City Residents Welfare Associations with petitions that they will submit to the Municipal Corporation on Monday.
An unpaved road in Balaji Nagar at Tiruverumbur in Tiruchi; (right) members of the Federation of Tiruchi City Residents Welfare Associations with petitions that they will submit to the Municipal Corporation on Monday.

“We have given petitions to the local ministers and officials of the district administration. In fact, even the Chief Minister had assured to have a relook at the property tax rates, acknowledging the steep rise. At this juncture, overcharging is unfair,” he said.

N. Ravichandran, City Corporation commissioner cum Special Officer, however, disagreed.

“Work for all the facilities is being undertaken and will be completed soon. There is no partial treatment. In fact, the tax slab fixed for newly annexed wards: 61 to 65, conforms to the rates levied by the Corporation in 2008. However, if residents disagree and believe that there are discrepancies, they are always welcome to bring it to the notice of the corporation,” he said.

Residents of the core city areas are also unhappy with the tax slabs fixed in 2018.

Speaking to The Hindu, K Suresh, city secretary, CPI said that in areas like Thillai Nagar and Vayalur road, facilities are pathetic.

“The area around the District Court, Cantonment area and some places in Srirangam, for instance, are well maintained. But, the maintenance of several other places, especially areas with a higher concentration of people like Thillai Nagar, leave much to be desired. Roads dug up for laying underground sewer lines have not been relaid properly, exposing residents to risk. Yet, the people end up paying at least ? 5000 as tax per individual household,” he said.

May residents say they are also unaware of the tax notifications.

“The Corporation usually issues notices fixing a 15-day deadline for compliance. But, of late, the last days are not mentioned precisely. The residents end up paying penalty”, a resident in Thillai Nagar said.

Officials, however, claim that even though Tiruchi has facilities on par with other cities in the state, the tax slabs are low in comparison.

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