Kerala: TRIDA notice directing traders to pay property tax sparks controversy

Hundreds of traders running shops in rented spaces have landed in trouble as they are unable to renew their trade licenses because of unpaid property tax.
Image used for representation.
Image used for representation.

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Trivandrum Development Authority (TRIDA) has served notices to traders occupying spaces in the commercial buildings owned by TRIDA directing them to pay property tax. This has sparked widespread outrage among the traders. It is learnt that the TRIDA has a property tax due to the tune of Rs 8.75 crores. Hundreds of traders running shops in rented spaces have landed in trouble as they are unable to renew their trade licenses because of unpaid property tax.

Syam Kumar B, who has been running a shop at the Kedaram shopping complex owned by TRIDA, said that it’s the responsibility of the owner to pay the property tax and not the tenants. “Many have received the notices and we have decided not to pay the tax. We will be informing the authorities,” he said.

He said TRIDA has hiked the rent by 10% per annum. “Ever since the introduction of K-SMART, we have been unable to renew our licence. Without clearing the tax dues, we will not be able to renew our trade licences,” he said. Kerala Vyapari Vyavasayi Ekopana Samithi president S S Manoj said that there is a recent HC order clarifying that it is not the tenants but the owner who should be paying the property tax.

“Also the High Court has made it clear that non-payment of tax by the owner shouldn’t affect the renewal of the trade licence. TRIDA cannot impose this on their tenants,” he said.

TRIDA chairman K C Vikraman said that the authority doesn’t have the revenue to pay the tax. “We have sought the intervention of the state government to resolve the issue,” he said.

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