Delay in updating software post property tax revision affects residents in Coimbatore

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An industrialist in the city is waiting for the Coimbatore Corporation to start accepting applications for assessing buildings for property tax.

He first wanted to submit application in March this year. When he approached the Corporation officials he was told that as it was financial year-end, the staff was busy shoring up collection. The officials asked him to return after April 1.

When he went after April 1, the officials asked him to wait for a few more days so that the Corporation Council could pass a resolution on tax revision. And, when he went again after the Council passed the tax resolution, the officials told the industrialist applicant that they would be able to accept his application only around June 30 as the software to process online the applications for assessing buildings for tax and collect tax was under upgrade.

Another city resident from Singanallur had approached the Corporation for building plan approval. As is the procedure, the officials asked him to clear vacant land tax dues. But when he attempted to pay the tax, he could not because the officials told him that the software was under upgrade.

The resident said he had lost two months going back and forth to the Corporation to get building plan approval so that he could start constructing his house.

These are but two instances of the problem that the city’s residents have been facing ever since the Coimbatore Corporation decided on tax revision.

Sources in the Corporation said the issue was two fold – that the software has to be upgraded factoring in the rate of tax revision to collect revised tax rates from property owners in the city. And, as it was a centralized software used by all urban local bodies, the work was being done at the Commissionerate of Municipal Administration in Chennai.

As for assessing newly constructed buildings for property tax, the Corporation had to decide on the quantum of increase of certain components that go into tax calculation – primarily the ‘zonisation’ rate – so that the tax assessed for new buildings was not less than buildings that were already under assessment.

Zonisation, the officials said, was area-wise rate that depended on whether the building was on national or state highways, bus routes or interior roads.

But this delay by the Corporation in finalising the zonisation rate or assessing buildings for tax was causing other issues, the industrialist applicant said and pointed out that he was unable to get power connection for his building because the Tangedco insisted on property tax assessment from the Corporation.

Consumer activist K. Kathirmathiyon said the Corporation could start assessing buildings for old tax while taking the undertaking that the assessees would pay the difference between the revised tax and old tax. This would at least spare the residents of avoidable delay.


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