Corporation will assess gaps in property tax collection

In a bid to boost property tax collection, the Chennai Corporation will conduct a drive to identify all commercial buildings in residential neighbourhoods across the city.

Officials at the ward level will start fresh enumeration of each building on a street, classifying the structure based on its use for commercial, residential or other purposes.

The initiative is expected to map the increase in the number of commercial structures in each neighbourhood.

“A number of residential buildings have been put to commercial use in a number of areas such as Anna Nagar, T. Nagar, Purasawalkam, Egmore and Mylapore. But they continue to be classified as residential with low property tax. The drive is expected to augment property tax revenue and facilitate streamlining of property tax assessment,” said an official of the Chennai Corporation.

The Corporation will also assess the trade licence framework for streets that have been witnessing a boom in commercial activity over the past few years.

“The number of workers in the Corporation is inadequate for identifying all the illegal commercial structures. There are more than 12 lakh property tax assessees in the city. At least four lakh buildings are not covered under the property tax net. The work is expected to take at least three months,” said an official.

The civic body is planning to use the results of the study to spot property tax assessees of buildings without services of Chennai Metrowater.

It is also likely to withdraw licences of commercial buildings that are found to have directly connected their sewage outlet to stormwater drains.