Seek clarification to buy time, says Mayor

With the new property tax regime proving a political hot potato even as civic body polls are just 16 months away, local bodies ruled by the Congress have chosen to adopt a “strategic” ploy to sidestep the issue. MeetingA day after he moved a resolution seeking clarity from the State government on the new tax regime in the Corporation council, Mayor Tony Chammany presented the “solution” at a meeting of heads of Congress-ruled local bodies from five central Kerala districts.

The meeting was held in Kochi on Saturday.

He warned that if implemented it would prove devastating for the party in the upcoming local body elections, leaving all development works undertaken by governing committees of local bodies futile. The proposal would have a similar effect as the step to restrict LPG gas cylinders had on the party prospects in the Lok Sabha elections.‘Delaying tactics’The way out was to use delaying tactics by seeking clarification from the State government, thereby, putting on hold the issue till after the elections, Mr. Chammany suggested at the session.

“Property tax revision is unavoidable and hence we will not ask the government to suspend it, but simply ‘clarify’ it,” he said.

A proposal in the government order making a minimum tax hike of 25 per cent mandatory for buildings had attracted widespread opposition, he said.

There was also lack of clarity over the issue of tax on commercial offices. Tax will be 150 per cent for commercial buildings under the new proposed tax regime.

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