In a bid to justify the government decision, TN CM Stalin said, “nearly 83 percent of the households in urban Tamil Nadu will not be affected by the present revision.”

CHENNAI Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin on Wednesday said his DMK government had to take a tough call to revise the property tax. It was done to ensure funds needed for the newly elected civic bodies can be generated to enable developmental activities work stay in progress and he appealed to the political parties not to politicise the issue.

Turning down a plea by various political parties, including his allies, in the Assembly, to either roll back the recently announced revision or announce a cut, the Chief Minister said the property tax revision was not deliberate but had to be done to financially empower the civic bodies.

“I wish to state that the government does not derive pleasure in revising property tax but is constrained to do so to ensure funds to the cash-strapped local bodies,” Stalin stated while responding to the issue being raised in the Assembly House.

“Nearly 83 percent of the households in urban Tamil Nadu will not be affected by the present revision.” He mentioned while justifying the government decision.

While explaining the reason for the hike, the CM stated as the local governing bodies were starved for funds since elections did not take place and the cash-starved civic bodies did not have the much needed resource to meet the basic requirement of the people.

The civic body representatives elected newly in the system expect funds from the state government to take up new development projects or finish the existing ones. “Hence, the property tax revision was announced, proposing various slabs, without affecting the people and considering the development of the civic bodies,” Stalin said.

“I appeal to the opposition (AIADMK, BJP) parties and our allies (Congress, left parties) not to politicise but stand by the government in facilitating the local bodies to take up pro-people initiatives,” he said.

Replying to the parties, Municipal Administration Minister K N Nehru claimed that about 83 percent of the households in the urban areas will see a tax hike of 25 – 50 percent. Compared to other metros in the country, the tax slab proposed for Chennai is the lowest.

Of the 11.03 lakh houses in the Chennai Corporation area, 25 percent increase has been proposed for 1.52 lakh houses, while 3.46 lakh and 3.12 lakh houses will have an increase by 50 and 75 percent, respectively. The guideline value of land in both core and extended areas were increased manifold.

Of the 77.87 lakh houses in Tamil Nadu, only 1.09 lakh will see 150 percent increase in tax. Of the 44.53 lakh households, 58.48 percent will witness an increase of 25 percent while 24.70 percent will have a 50 percent hike, he noted. The new tax slabs will come into effect from the first quarter of 2022 – 23.

“The tax rates were revised based on the recommendation of the 15th Finance Commission to fix minimum floor rates for property tax as mandated by the Centre,” Nehru said and accused the AIADMK regime of hiking the rates of up to 300 percent in 1987.

Later, the AIADMK and BJP members, staged a walk out from the house, separately, protesting against the government for not rolling back the proposed hike.