Friday, March 13, 2009

Cuddalore Municipality intensifies tax collection

Cuddalore Municipality intensifies tax collection drive - The Hindu

— Photo:C. Venkatachalapathy

AUGMENTING REVENUE: Cuddalore Municipality’s tax collection apace.

CUDDALORE: The Cuddalore Municipality has intensified tax collection drive to realise arrears amounting to Rs. 18 crore, according to N. Ravichandran, Municipal Commissioner.

He told The Hindu that a special drive launched on March 2 would go on till March 20. Of the total outstanding, unrealised property tax alone accounted for Rs. 12 crore, and the remaining by way of water cess and profession tax.

There was an entrenched feeling that as nobody was claiming arrears, tax collection had touched its nadir in the past several years. It had stalled development works in the municipality.

A situation had arisen in which annual tax payment had tapered off and this resulted in mounting arrears. Mr Ravichandran said that soon after he assumed office, he prepared a list of property owners who defaulted on payments.

For arrears above Rs. 2,000, legal notices were sent to households concerned to make the payment within the stipulated period.

The move was widely publicised through public address system fitted to jeeps and autorickshaws. Handbills were distributed to the households besides municipal employees making door-to-door visit to impress upon the property owners to clear the arrears and make regular tax payments.

Mr. Ravichandran said that the attempt paid off and the civic body had so far netted arrear collections of Rs. 2 crore.

After the exercise was completed, the civic body would have to mobilise resources to the tune of Rs. 23 crore for the execution of underground drainage project, both from internal resources and by way of people’s contributions for linking households to the system.

Following technology upgradation, the project cost had gone up from Rs. 40.40 crore to Rs. 48 crore. Mr. Ravichandran said that he would soon approach the Commissioner of Municipal Administration to raise funds .

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