Karthik Madhavan

Subject to be discussed at Council meeting today

Taken up for discussion at Council meetings in February and March

Civic organisations in Erode come together to oppose tax revision

ERODE: All eyes are on the Erode Corporation as its Council meets on Wednesday, April 30, to discuss, among others things, the issue of property tax increase, which is an issue that has been pending for awhile.

The proposal to increase property tax for residences by 25 per cent, industries by 100 per cent and commercial establishments by 150 per cent has been placed as item number two for discussion at the Council meeting that is to be held on Wednesday.

The proposal was earlier taken to the Council for discussion in February 2008.

However, a decision on the property tax issue was postponed because Councillors said they wanted the Government Order concerned, which was in English, to be translated into Tamil.

Again the subject was to be taken up for discussion in the March meeting.

However, nothing much came of it because Councillors, cutting across party lines, opposed the increase in tax saying it was ‘exorbitant’ and would tax the people and be a burden to them.

The people’s representatives also cited a Government announcement to add strength to their argument about the increase.

The Government had earlier said the details mentioned in the Government Order concerned was only recommendatory and not mandatory in nature and that the local bodies were free to fix a lower percentage of tax.

Meanwhile, all civic organisations in Erode came together to oppose the revision in property tax.

They argued that in the last two revisions the civic body had opted for the higher end of revision and the current one, if adopted, would again be harsh on the public.

The organisations then decided to petition Councillors to express their protest to the increase.

It was pointed out that a commercial property that had been paying a Rs. 1,000 tax prior to 1998 would now have no option but to shell out around Rs. 60,000.

Postponed

They wanted the increase to be postponed to 2012 and no action to be taken for the present.

Given the backdrop of the public opposition that has arisen to the increase, it remains to be seen how the Council reacts to the property tax revision proposal.

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