Although only around 18% of expected revenue has been netted through taxes and user charges till August, the civic body said it is better than the corresponding period last year. For the current financial year the civic body’s property tax demand is Rs 121.6 crore, which includes arrears of Rs 61.6 crore, of which 21% has been collected.
The slowdown in tax collection drive due to Covid-19 shows that arrears make up more than 50% of current demand for vacant land tax, professional tax and non-tax revenue. The civic body is expecting around Rs 287 crore in taxes through taxes and user charges. “We are opening our 37 tax collection centres even on Sundays. People can pay their taxes online on tnurbanepay.tn.gov.in. Compared to last year, our tax collection drive is better by 10-12%,” a senior corporation official said. Around 100 users are paying taxes online daily, officials added.
As educational institutions and cinema theatres have remained shut, officials said such properties were not insisted to pay outstanding taxes. However, since most commercial activities are now open, the civic body has planned to gradually resume outstanding tax.
Collecting non-tax revenue (rent for civic body’s properties in commercial hubs) will be an uphill task for the civic body as commercial establishments may cite slowdown as a reason to delay payment. As the civic body is under severe fund crunch to even carry out annual maintenance of properties such as public parks, the corporation said that they have to intensify the tax collection drive further.