CHENNAI: Despite the pandemic, the highest number of property tax bills have been paid for the month of October in Chennai, when compared to the last four years.
According to Chennai corporation data, a total of 1,38,187 property tax bills have been paid and a collection of Rs 91 crores made for October which is the first month of the second half year.
The number of bills paid has doubled compared to the same time last year when 61,894 bills were paid and a collection of Rs 71 crores was made as property tax revenue.
In October 2016, 59,072 bills had been paid for the month of October and a collection of Rs 55 crores was made. In October 2017, 70,865 bills were paid and Rs 50 crores was collected and in October 2018, 73,754 bills were paid and Rs 51.8 crores was collected.
Senior corporation officials credit a part of the high property tax collection this year to the 5% (up to Rs 5000) rebate that the civic body had announced last month for prompt payment within the announced deadlines.
"While we had introduced several measures to increase tax collection, the credit also goes to the people who came forward to pay despite the COVID-19 situation," a senior corporation official said.
The corporation had also introduced a reward system for its tax collectors, called the 'Greater Chennai Corporation Revenue Evaluation and Augmentation Task', in October this year.
Penalty to be lowered:
The city corporation had announced a 2% interest as penalty for those who failed to pay the property tax within the stipulated dates. However, as a one-time measure, Corporation officials have decided to bring down the penalty rates.
"Keeping in mind the COVID-19 situation, we have decided to bring down the penalty to 0.5% until March. The details have not been finalised; once done, the announcement will be made," said a senior corporation official.