The Coimbatore Corporation proposes to levy a uniform half-yearly Property Tax of Rs. 15,000 on telecommunication towers across the city from the coming financial year.

This proposal was announced in the budget, presented in the Corporation Council on Monday by Finance and Taxation Committee Chairman R. Nandakumar.

Announcing a deficit of Rs.21.30 crore for the 2010-11 financial year, Mr. Nandakumar said the Corporation would take up a number of measures to wipe the deficit. The tax on the towers was one of the measures.

Noting that many such towers were erected on buildings and vacant sites all over the city, the proposal said a separate demand for Property Tax would be made out for these towers.

The Corporation would not merge this with the tax on the buildings because whenever the towers were removed, the owners could inform the Corporation for stopping the tax collection.

Apart from increasing revenue, the new system would also help in regulating the erection of the towers by various agencies that provide telephone services.

Stating that Profession Tax was a high revenue source after Property Tax, the Corporation said in another proposal that it would identify and bring into the tax net all individuals, Central and State Government employees and industrial units that were liable to pay the tax.

After the sewage treatment plant became functional at Ukkadam, the Corporation would sell the treated waste water for purposes other than drinking. Identifying traders omitted from Trade Licence Fee and building owners from Property Tax collection was another measure to increase revenue.

After houses were provided to slum dwellers, drinking water and sewerage connections would be provided free of cost to them. At the same time, the road side taps in the slums and other below poverty line habitations would be removed.

A proportionate number of connections would be released to other areas and revenue would be earned out of these in the form of connection and water consumption charges.

Charges for using underground drainage and garbage collection fee were among the other revenue earning options.

The financial reforms made mandatory by the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission included 100 per cent Property Tax collection.

In keeping with this, hand-held billing machines would be bought by the Corporation in order to enable on-the-spot assessment and payment of Property Tax and water charges.

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