Property tax hike up to 18-fold worries Chennai residents

Chennai: Ever since the revised property tax rates of Greater Chennai Corporation came into force 19 September, there has been a hue and cry throughout the city as some localities are facing a hike of up to 18 times the amount charged all this time.

Moreover, with localities like Alandur and Nanganallur already having very high basic street rates, the new tax revision has added fuel to fire among the residents who are now alleging that even Corporation’s newly-launched app isn’t addressing the issue.

Speaking to News Today, Nanganallur-based industrialist Barani Prasad said, “Property tax revision is not in accordance with Government Order 73 which clearly mentions that the increase should not be more than 50 and 100 per cent for residential and commercial buildings. The new revision is nothing less than 200 to 500 per cent. We have no choice but to appeal against this mammoth hike.”

Nanganallur 40th Street resident H Sundararajan said, “I own a double bedroom 663 sq ft flat. The previous owner was paying Rs 240 per half year. But, for the same property, this year, I have been asked to pay Rs 4,190 which I have paid without knowing the reason. The property tax revision is welcome with 100 per cent for rented properties and 50 per cent self-occupied properties. But the present 17.45 fold increase is only to extract money from property owners. The Corporation Commissioner has to explain how these figures have been arrived at.”

Nanganallur 37th Street resident B Meenakshi said, “I am a home-maker, my husband is a retired bank officer and we are senior citizens. We are living in our own flat, paying property tax of Rs 257 every six months. Now, we have received a notice from Corporation informing that the tax has been increased to Rs 2,350 for the same term, that is, nearly 10 times. Other flat-owners have also received notices in the same manner. When I checked with my relatives and friends living in Adyar, Besant Nagar, Mylapore, Royapettah, etc., the increase is two- or three-fold only. So, I request authorities to reconsider and revise the property tax reasonably.”

A couple of days ago, Corporation officials defended the revision stating that they also include the amount the residents ought to pay earlier while also launching an app to clarify doubts. But residents alleged that the app is nothing more than a tax breakup tool.

Nanganallur 12th Street resident S Padmanabhan, said, “The Corporation informed that residents can verify their property taxes with calculation sheets. But the app shows only the revised tax rate and there is no computation to show how the revised rate has been arrived at. Moreover, it has not taken into account the existing tax rate in the sheet. For example, if the existing property tax rate was Rs 0.40 per sq foot, the Corporation has to take this into account for computation for revision. But it has shown Rs 2.24 as revised rate with another 10 per cent added, taking the overall value to Rs 2.46 per sq ft. Alandur is not posh, compared to Besant Nagar or T Nagar but taxes are very high here which needs to be addressed soon.”

COSTLY AFFAIR

The recently published Basic Street Rates by Corporation reveals that localities like Alandur, Nanganallur, Adambakkam are costlier than posh areas like Gopalapuram, Mylapore, Adyar, Besant Nagar, Kilpauk, Anna Nagar, Parry’s, etc. In these areas, the basic street rate varies between Rs 1.25 and Rs 1.90 per sq foot but its goes from Rs 2.50 to Rs 3.75 per sq foot for the other localities. Even the commercial rental values the posh areas range between Rs 7.50 and Rs 11.25 per sq foot while in areas like Sowcarpet, George Town, Broadway, etc., where transactions are in crores, the value is just around Rs 4 per sq foot.

MLA, MP PLUNGE INTO ACTION

Recently, Alandur MLA T M Anbarasan and MP R S Bharathi personally called on Chennai Corporation Commissioner D Karthikeyan and handed over a petition to reduce property taxes in the neighbourhood. They alleged that Zone 12 wards 160, 161, 162, 163, 164, 165, 166 and 167 have been greatly affected by this and action needed to be taken soon.

S Ben Raja