DINDIGUL: Councillors belonging to All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) walked out of the municipal council meeting here on Thursday in protest against proposed reclassification of vacant land tax system by the municipality.
But municipal chairman R. Natarajan clarified that it was not a revision at all. The government simplified calculation of tax for vacant land within municipalities. Earlier, the municipalities calculated the tax in percentage terms on the land’s capital value. Under the proposed system, calculation would be made on the basis of area and not the value.
The AIADMK councillors had misunderstood the concept and staged a walkout, he said.
Initially, municipal officials informed the council that half-yearly property tax for vacant land in residential colonies will be 20 paise (minimum) and 40 paise (maximum) per square feet and tax for land near approach road that would not lead to prime roads, 30 paise and 50 paise and for lands on approach roads leading to prime roads 40 paise and 60 paise.
Ward-4 AIADMK councillor Ramu Thevar voiced his protest to the proposal and argued with the chairman. Later, Mr. Natarajan agreed to scale down this proposed tax by 50 per cent for lands near colonies and roads that would not approach prime roads.
The council’s opposition leader S. Marudharaj (AIADMK) was reluctant to stage the walkout. But AIADMK councillors threatened him to come out. With no support, he also followed suit. Later, the council passed this resolution.
The council also allowed the Tamil Nadu Water and Drainage (TWAD) Board to take up preliminary work for the implementation of Vaigai combined drinking water scheme for Dindigul, Athoor, Nilakottai and Batlagundu at an estimated cost of Rs.74 crore.
Water would be drawn in pipes directly from Vaigai dam to these towns.