Tamil Nadu government increases property tax and AIADMK organizes protests

Tamil Nadu Municipal Administration Minister KN Nehru told the media that the tax review was done as per the guidelines of the 15th Finance Commission.

The Tamil Nadu government has announced a sweeping property tax overhaul to mop up revenue from local bodies, proposing up to 150% increases, but claimed the rates were lower than in many other states. The main opposition party AIADMK slammed the decision and said it was just a ‘trailer’ and that other ‘exceptional prizes were in store’ for the people for electing their rival , the DMK, in the elections. Congress, an ally of DMK, also opposed the move, saying it would weigh more heavily on the people as a result of rising fuel prices and called for a rethinking of how it would be implemented.

Municipal Administration Minister KN Nehru told reporters in New Delhi that the tax review was done as directed by the 15th Finance Commission and central funds would only be made available if done. , he said. According to an official statement, a number of reasons, including a multiple increase in inflation over the years, spurred the decision to make the increase and there was a decline in the share of civic bodies in their own income. To implement the revision of the property tax, four slabs to determine the area of ​​the property had been determined.

In Chennai, the property tax revision for residential buildings in the central area was 50% for those under 600 sq ft, 75% for 600-1,200 sq ft and 100% for 1,201-1,800 sq ft , according to the government statement. The rate has been revised to 150% for people over 1,801 square feet. Rates have been revised in areas under the jurisdiction of other civic bodies, including municipalities, while the same is true for commercial structures and buildings housing educational institutions.

The Leader of the Opposition in the State Assembly, K Palaniswami, has lambasted the DMK government for carrying out a property tax hike. He said the DMK government, which “refused to give special (cash) aid to Pongal as a reward for picking him in the Assembly polls, has now offered them a 150% raise. property tax for electing the party in the (recent) civic polls.

“This property tax hike is just a trailer. In the coming days, other great prizes are in store for the people,” said the AIADMK coordinator, also a former chief minister, in a series of tweets.

Responding to Palaniswami, Nehru said the previous AIADMK government had previously proposed a 200% hike for all sections but held it back keeping an eye on the polls.

“However, the Chief Minister (MK Stalin) is keen to make sure the poor don’t suffer,” and that’s why a slab system was put in place. Most ordinary people are in the lower tax brackets and therefore would not be affected much, he said.

The overhaul was even less compared to other cities like Bengaluru, Lucknow, Indore, Ahmedabad, Mumbai and Kolkata, he said. The increase was in line with central guidelines and would apply to all states, Nehru added. The tax was being reviewed after 24 years, he said in response to a question.

“This revision is being made in view of rising prices, higher salaries for employees and additional expenditure incurred to strengthen the basic infrastructure of civic bodies and the need to meet the basic needs of the population,” adds the press release.

Meanwhile, the head of the state Congress, KS Alagiri, said the tax review “would have a serious impact” on all sections of society.

“This announcement must have been made without it being brought to the attention of the Chief Minister,” he said in a statement, adding that the hike would only further burden commoners suffering from the hike. daily oil prices. “Therefore, I request the Chief Minister that instead of implementing it all at once, it be reconsidered for an annual increase of 10%,” he said.

Penny D. Jackson