Thursday, October 8, 2009

Corpn cracks the whip on property tax defaulters

By G Saravanan

Chennai, October 7: THE Chennai Corporation on Wednesday launched a crackdown on property tax defaulters by sealing two prominent hotels that had a total tax liability of Rs 513 crore. Officials of the Corporation ordered sealing of two hotels -Suryaprakash Hotel on Ormes Road and Pride Hotel at Kilpauk in Zone V.

“We are going ahead with the special drives, which could force many defaulters to pay their property tax arrears,” a senior official told Express.

According to Corporation sources, its drive to put up miniboards in front of buildings saying “the particular premise has property tax arrears” has also bore desired results.

While 350 boards were placed on major defaulters’ premises in the city in recent weeks, around 180 defaulters remitted their tax arrears and response from the others has been encouraging, sources say.

According to sources, 13 premises in the city, including a few central government agencies and an IT park in Guindy, had defaulted more than Rs one crore property tax each while another 83 had defaulted more than Rs 25 lakh but less than Rs one crore.

The list includes chairman of Chennai Port Trust (Rs 35 lakh), Binny Limited (Rs 75 lakh), Sundaram Medical Foundation (Rs 49 lakh), LIC of India (Rs 38 lakh), YMCA of Madras (Rs 25 lakh), Buhari Sons Limited (Rs 40 lakh), Hotel Ganesh Private Limited (Rs 50 lakh), Director of Meteorological Department (Rs 78 lakh), South Indian Film Chamber of Commerce (Rs 31 lakh), Chief Post Master General (Rs 64 lakh) and the Deputy Inspector General (Technical), New Police Quarters (Rs 55 lakh).

The recent decision by the Council to reclassify residential amenities like mansions, ladies/working women hostels and service apartments in the city would fetch a minimum of Rs six crore of property tax per year to the Corporation’s kitty.

Besides embarking on a special drive to collect property tax arrears, the Corporation also sent attachment notices to more than 200 defaulting premises in the city and Sowcarpet alone received 22 such notices in recent times.

Twelve defaulters from Sowcarpet paid their arrears to the civic body following the action, sources said.

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