CHENNAI: The Chennai Corporation is saddled with pending property tax dues worth nearly Rs 250 crore. According to corporation records, the highest outstanding payment of Rs 16.9 crore is owed by Taj Connemara.
The management of Chennai’s Albert theatre paid four-year pending dues of over Rs 51 lakh in property tax and Rs 14 lakh in entertainment tax on Thursday within a few hours of the city corporation sealing its premises. The seal has since been removed.
However, sources said big players, including Taj Connemara, have property tax dues worth several crores pending. Property tax is one of the main sources of revenue for the city corporation. “Discussions with the management (of Taj Connemara) have been going on for a long time. Whenever pressure is built on them, they move court and obtain a stay,” said an official source.
When TNIE visited the hotel for a comment, a senior staff member said the matter was sub-judice and the group is willing to pay dues as directed by the court. The case has been ongoing for the last six years.“We had issues with assessment of the tax. We will pay the dues as directed by the court,” said the staff member.
For the assessment of properties classified as ‘posh hotels’ (star hotels), the annual rental value is fixed at 10% of the total room tariff calculated for a year. Half-yearly property tax is calculated by taking into account the annual rental value for lodging and the monthly rental value of their bars, restaurants etc.
Other commercial establishments with high outstanding dues are Hotel Ferdoz with Rs 2.15 crore, RR Infotech with Rs 9.34 crore and HCL with Rs 2.88 crore, according to corporation records on Thursday.
TNIE attempted to reach out to all these establishments for their reaction. The managing staff of City Tower hotel declined to comment on the issue. The accounts department staff of CeeDeeYes Standard Towers said that the building has been vacant and in the possession of a bank and so, the tax dues have not been cleared. Owners of Ferdoz restaurant said that they were merely tenants of the building and according to their records, the dues were only around Rs 14 lakh. The managing staff of Chinnasamy marriage hall said that they have appealed the assessment and the calculation of the annual rental value. TNIE emailed HCL Technologies for a response but no reply was received at the time of publication. Staff at MS City said that they were not aware of the issue.