The decision was taken earlier this month, senior officials confirmed. There are around 1,739 cellphone towers in the city. “We will be putting out a public notice inviting comments from residents. Later, a formula will be devised to decide how much tax will be levied. It will be a function of the fee paid by mobile phone towers to property owners. We will base it on agreements signed between those parties,” an official said.
The issue has been entangled in a legal dispute since 2009 when the civic body first proposed this tax. Just seven residents from T Nagar owed Rs 3.45 lakh in taxes, revealed civic body’s records as of last year.
Initially, The corporation devised a tax formula which was the monthly rent multiplied by 10.92% and 12.4%. Later this was changed to a fixed amount of Rs 15,000 for every half-year. Property owners challenged this in the Madras high court, which in its April 2021 order asked the civic body to redetermine property tax and also asked the owners to submit relevant documents to the civic body. Based on this, the corporation cancelled the fixed amount of tax.
However, due to the legal battle, the civic body lost out on crores of revenue for years. It will now be able to collect this from property owners with arrears, an official said. This would also include revenue from towers installed in areas added to Greater Chennai Corporation in 2011.