DMK, AIADMK lock horns over increase in property tax

The opposition AIADMK has locked horns with the ruling DMK in Tamil Nadu over the announcement that property taxes will be hiked.

The AIADMK held protest marches across the state on Tuesday against the rise in property tax with both the Chief Coordinator, O. Panneerselvam, and Joint Coordinator K. Palaniswami leading the marches in Chennai and Tiruchi respectively.

Panneerselvam while speaking to IANS said, “The previous AIADMK government had hiked the property tax but when the then opposition leader M.K. Stalin called for a rollback of the taxes, we had obliged and rolled back in 2019. The government also then had said that the property tax paid would be adjusted with the future bills.”

The former Chief Minister said that the DMK was showing its double standards by hiking the property tax and that if the government does not roll back the prices, the opposition would conduct regular protest marches across the state against this.

Countering the argument of AIADMK, the Tamil Nadu Municipal administration minister, K.N. Nehru in a statement on Wednesday said that taxes were revised based on the 15th Finance commission’s recommendations to fix minimum floor rates for property tax as mandated by the Government of India.

He said that out of the 77.87 lakh houses in the state, only 1.09 lakh (1.4 per cent) will witness a property tax hike of 150 per cent. The minister in the statement said that of the 44.53 lakh households, 58.48 per cent will see an increase of 25 per cent and 24.70 per cent will have a hike of 50 per cent.

He charged the AIADMK with duplicity and said that in 1987, the AIADMK government had increased the property tax by 300 per cent and said that during that time property tax was hiked by 100 per cent for own houses, 200 per cent for rented houses, and 300 per cent for commercial spaces and industries.

K.N. Nehru said that the AIADMK government in 1993 also increased property tax by 50 per cent for own houses, 100 per cent for rented houses, 150 per cent for industries, and 200 per cent for commercial spaces. The Minister said that the DMK government that followed the AIADMK government in 1998 hiked property taxes by 25 per cent for own houses, 50 per cent for rented houses, 100 per cent for industries, and 150 per cent for commercial spaces.

He said that the hike in property taxes will come into effect in the first quarter of the financial year 2022-23 in the state and added that local bodies will have to pass resolutions in this regard.

The minister while speaking to IANS said, “The property tax hike will come into effect in the first quarter of the financial year 2022-23. There is no merit in the opposition AIADMK creating a ruckus over property tax hike as I have told earlier the successive governments had gone for property tax hike. Everyone knows that the property tax in Tamil Nadu is not as high as in several other states of the country.”

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