KOCHI: In order to overcome the severe financial crunch that the Kochi Corporation is facing, the civic body will have to think of measures to garner more revenue, deputy mayor T J Vinodh has said. The measures include revision of taxes, effective utilisation of properties owned by the Corporation and increasing the rent of the Corporation-owned buildings. He also said that the idea of revision of taxes will be put forth before the State Government and if the authorities concerned give the sanction, the Corporation will go ahead with the plan.
“The annual revenue of the Corporation is Rs 106 crore- Rs 110 crore, while the amount it needs to pay salary to the staff alone is Rs 80 crore per annum. Under these conditions, the civic body will have to think of ways to increase the revenue. But tax revision is my personal view only and any decision in this regard can be taken only with the consent of the government and the council,” he added.
The government had recently exempted all residential buildings with built-up area of up to 660 sq ft from property tax and also had waived the hike in tax rate on buildings up to 2,000 sq feet. The tax collection on the basis of Floor Area Ratio (FAR) is applicable only to newly-constructed buildings.
He said that there are several buildings in the city which were issued residential certificate after the assessment. “But some of these buildings were later converted to commercial buildings leading to tax evasion. Such practices will be curbed,” Vinodh added. Other projects, including the launching of a decentralised sewerage treatment system and septage plant will also be implemented in a time-bound manner, he said.