City residents may finally see an end to lengthy court battles dealing with disputes over water and sewerage tax.
Chennai Corporation’s Taxation Appeal Tribunal, a body that has so far focused on the resolution of property tax disputes, will now also look into water and sewerage tax wrangles in the city.
The decision was made a few months ago, after the State government passed orders for the constitution of a tribunal specifically to deal with cases relating to water and sewerage tax.
The absence of a body to look into such cases so far, had been leading to delays in Metrowater’s collection of arrears, as disputes between residents and the water body invariably ended up at city civil courts or the Madras High Court.
The assessment of water and sewerage taxes is made based on the value of a property, fixed annually by the Corporation.
Metrowater has over 1,000 cases pertaining to tax arrears pending since 2004. At present, there are 11.05 lakh property tax and water tax assesses in the city.
On Monday, senior Corporation and Metrowater officials will meet to decide on where the tribunal should operate from — Ripon Buildings or the Chennai Metrowater building.
Officials said it is hoped that hundreds of pending cases will be resolved in about six months after the tribunal begins work.
They said the expansion of its duties would not affect the tribunal’s other operations, as the number of property tax cases it settles per year at present, is only around 50.
However, if the Corporation revises its property tax rates, the tribunal will have more work on its hands, an official said.