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Corpn. raises Professional Tax by 25 p.c.

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Special Correspondent

COIMBATORE: The Coimbatore Corporation finally managed on Thursday to convince the Council to approve an increase in the Professional Tax.

After two unsuccessful attempts, the Corporation succeeded in getting an approval for a 25 per cent increase (see table for new tax rates).

In the resolution moved in the Council, the Corporation had proposed that the tax could be raised by 25 per cent or 30 per cent or 35 per cent.

Revenue

With Property Tax and drinking water consumption charges already having been increased, the parties in the Council opposed the Corporation’s contention that a substantial increase was needed to mobilise enough revenue for development works.

Resolution

The Standing Committee on Finance and Taxation of the Council had passed a resolution at its meeting on November 17, rejecting the proposal for the increase.

It said the increase in the other taxes had already burdened the people. Therefore, instead of raising the Professional Tax rates, the Corporation could identify those who had not been brought into the tax net.

Though restricted to the lowest rate proposed, the 25 per cent increase drew flak from Opposition parties such as the Communist Party of India (Marxist), Communist Party of India (CPI), All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam and Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam.

Protest

Trouble broke out when the members of these parties walked up to Mayor R. Venkatachalam to register their protest against the increase.

They accused Deputy Mayor N. Karthik of pushing CPI member R. Kalyanasundaram off the dais when the latter objected to the increase.

Government order

The Corporation said the tax had to be raised as per the Government’s order that it should be increased once in five years.

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