CHENNAI: Work on several developmental projects of the Ambattur Municipality has come to a near standstill with the local body experiencing a severe financial crunch. The situation prevails on account of a delay in collection of a chunk of property tax by the Municipality.

Municipality officials said the process to revise property tax rates of the nearly 85,000 assessees as per the government order was the cause of the delay. As a result, the local body has been able to collect only around Rs.7 crore up to December as against the target of Rs.43 crore in the current fiscal.

The procedure to revise the levy and the verification process of each of the assessee took nearly five months after the Council approved the changes in July. The tax rate was increased by 25 per cent for residential properties and by 100 per cent for commercial establishments.

Now, however, nearly 95 per cent of the assessees have been served with the demand notices. The officials admitted that the delay in the collection has slowed down several infrastructure projects, including construction of stormwater drains, roads and gasifier crematorium.

The local body suffered a revenue loss of nearly Rs.10 crore as it was able to collect only 55 per cent of the target amount last financial year. An official said measures were being taken to expedite tax collection.

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