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Bargur textile merchants criticise raise in property tax

R. Arivanantham

Even Krishnagiri Municipality is not charging such hefty amount

Photo: N. Bashkaran

A view of the two-decade old Bargur Textile Market. –

BARGUR (KRISHNAGIRI): Bargur Textile Committee has opposed the 150 per cent raise in property tax for commercial properties during the financial year 2008-09 by the Town Panchayat.

M. Shanmugam, secretary of the committee told The Hindu on Tuesday that the steep raise in property tax was not justified. There are about 400 small and tiny textile merchants in Bargur. For many of them, it is hereditary.

He said that even the Krishnagiri Municipality had raised the tax by 35 per cent. “We sent a representation to the Town Panchayat Executive Officer on May 25. We are yet to get a reply from him.”

The government allowed the local bodies to fix tax structure according to the revenue and expenditure. Accordingly, it should not exceed the maximum limit of 25 per cent for residential buildings, 100 per cent for industries and150 per cent for commercial establishments.

The Krishnagiri Municipality considered the plea of the councillors, traders, industrialists and the general public and fixed the tax structure as 20 per cent for residential properties, 25 per cent for industries and 35 per cent for commercial properties, he added. B.T. Balan, president of the association asked the government to direct all the express buses from and to Chennai, Vellore and Tirupatthur to operate through Bargur town, as many of the small buyers were coming from far off places like Madurai, Salem, Dharmapuri and even from Andhra Pradesh and Karanataka. They found it very hard to commute inside the town.He asked the banking authorities to heed their demand to open a new SBI branch in Bargur. He said that the demand was made at first when the late Rajiv Gandhi was Prime Minister. When contacted the chairman of the town panchayats, Senthamarai Balan, said a meeting would soon be convened to discuss the tax rate after the elections. Mr. S. Kalaivanan told that out of the 802 commercial tax assessments to the tune of Rs. 9,46,538 for the financial year 2008-09, so far Rs. 2,46,538 has been collected from 330 assessments.

During the last fiscal the total tax assessements in the town panchayat was Rs. 22 lakhs from 4415 assessees.

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