Swoop likely on tax defaulting plot owners

Staff Reporter

“10 per cent of vacant plots owners alone have paid taxes so far”

Default has resulted in a loss of Rs. 50 lakh

Municipality unable to take up works owing to paucity of funds

PUDUCHERRY: The Oulgaret Municipality has decided to crack down on owners of vacant plots within municipal limits who have not paid taxes on their plots yet.

“The Government Order on collection of taxes on vacant plots was issued in 1998. About 10 per cent of the people owning vacant plots alone have paid their taxes so far. This has resulted in a loss of about Rs. 50 lakh for us,” said S. Rajamanikkam, Commissioner of the Oulgaret Municipality. Owners of vacant land plots are expected to pay a tax of 0.5 per cent of capital value of the land (as on the date of purchase) per annum. Even though this is a nominal amount, unpaid taxes are a burden on the municipality, which is unable to take up developmental works owing to paucity of funds, Mr. Rajamanikkam said.

The presence of vacant plots actually creates additional problems for the municipality, when it turns into a neighbourhood garbage dump or when water stagnates there. Even when roads are laid, the lack of an embankment along vacant plots causes trouble, officials said.

The municipality is in the process of evaluating the exact loss of revenue owing to non-payment of taxes on vacant plots, and the number of such plots within municipality limits, before taking further action.