The Chennai Corporation Council on Monday passed a resolution seeking government approval to disconnect water and power supply to houses and business establishments that do no pay property tax.

After government approval is given, every six months, the civic body will send a list of defaulters from among the 10.71 lakh property tax assesses to the Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (Tangedco) and Metrowater.

The list will be of those buildings that have failed to pay their tax even 15 days after the deadline. Power and water supply will be restored only after the property tax is remitted.

The civic body will send a notice to defaulters before disconnecting their utilities.

The number of assessees in the city has increased from 6.62 lakh to 10.71 lakh after the recent expansion of the city limits. This has led to a rise in number of assessees who fail to pay their property tax on time.

The civic body is struggling to cope with inadequate property tax collection even after conducting a campaign to create awareness among residents.

Since other civic agencies such as Tangedco and Metrowater are able to collect their service charges because residents fear power and water supply will be disconnected, the Corporation has decided to take a leaf out of their books to step up its collection of property tax. This measure was decided upon based on a study of buildings in the city.

As part of its efforts to increase tax collection, the civic body has set a target of setting up 2,000 bank counters in the city for walk-in payments of property tax. So far, it has set up the facility in several counters including those in IDBI, HDFC, Indian Overseas Bank, City Union Bank and Karur Vysya Bank.

The total property tax charges in the city for this year amount to Rs. 477.62 crore from 10.71 lakh assessees. 

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