COIMBATORE, MADURAI & TIRUCHY: The State government on Saturday announced an across-the-board revision of property tax to increase the revenue of local bodies, proposing up to 100 per cent increase in taxes for properties in corporations, town panchayats, and municipalities across the State and a maximum of 150 per cent hike for properties in Chennai Corporation. The order is effective from April 1.
An official release said property taxes in urban local bodies in TN is low compared to tax rates in metropolitan cities and towns in other parts of India.
According to the revised tax rates, in municipalities and town panchayats, the hike would be from 25 per cent to 100 per cent for residential properties between 600 sq.ft and 1,800 sq ft. For commercial buildings, the hike will be 100 per cent while for factories and educational institutions, it will be 75 per cent. In Coimbatore, for a 600 sq.ft residential building, a minimum of Rs 204 and a maximum of Rs 972 is being collected as tax. This may go up to Rs 255 (min) and Rs 1,215 (max) under the revised regime.
According to Rajkumar, a resident of Selvapuram in Coimbatore, the hike would affect poor and middle-class people more. “Middle-class families who build their homes with all their life savings will be affected.” Azad, an entrepreneur in Coimbatore, said “This hike for commercial establishments will push entrepreneurs into financial crisis.”SSA Basha, a social activist from Madurai, said; “Municipalities and corporations have not improved basic amenities in newly added areas but people are made to pay taxes for services not provided.”
TN Chamber of Commerce and Industries in Madurai urged the State government to review its decision and hike taxes only in phases with an upper limit of 30 per cent. About 22 per cent small and micro enterprises were yet to fully start their businesses after Covid-19, it said. VP Shankar, a former councillor of Tiruchy’s Manapparai, said: “The cost of living has been increasing over the past two years. Increasing property taxes at this juncture may not be a good idea.”
AIADMK to hold stir
The AIADMK demanded an immediate rollback of the tax hike and announced demonstrations at its district headquarters on April 5