To verify addresses of property tax assessees

The Chennai Corporation is planning to use the services of the Department of Posts to verify addresses of over 6.41 lakh property tax assessees.

This is part of the measures of the civic body to improve property tax collection.

It has started discussions for making optimum use of the services of the Department of Posts in the days ahead when the challenges pertaining to collection of property tax are likely to mount.

With elections round the corner, the Corporation would have to use tax collectors for election duty. So, the services of the postal employees are likely to be used to create awareness and improve tax collection, said officials of the Corporation.

Address verification by the postal staff would also help the civic body verify the genuineness of the assessees during the city expansion phase.

A few months ago, the Corporation had initiated a process of sending e-post to remind the assessees. Though the property tax collection improved because of the initiative, some of the addresses of assessees were not correct.

The civic body has also planned to ask the assessees to make use of the counters in the zonal and division offices for payment of tax during the period of civic body elections.

After the expansion of the city and local body elections, the Revenue Department would face a challenge in the form of change in zone number of the existing assessees.

The Postal Department's schemes such as e-post would be continued to be used to remind the assessees of the property tax payment even after the elections.

Over 10 per cent of the property tax assessees pay taxes of high value, official said. Even though the civic body focuses more on this segment, the assessees who pay very low value property tax would also be given awareness messages through the postal system.

A major portion of the 5.29 lakh residential property tax assessees in the 10 zones of the city have a property tax demand of low value. Address verification of such assessees may be easier with the help of the extensive network of post offices, according to an official of the civic body.

Collection of property tax from over 1.12 lakh commercial properties in the city is likely to be better with the assistance of the postal network.

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Aloysius Xavier LopezJune 28, 2012