Kochi: Ad tax defaulters put on notice
Kochi: The City Corporation has served notice on advertisers for defaulting tax payment, following widespread complaints that the local body is not keen on tax collection. During a recent council meeting Mayor Soumini Jain informed the members that defaulters have been asked to pay a fine. Opposition leader K.J. Antony has raised the matter and urged Mayor to submit the details before the council.
“During a recent review meeting, officials have been asked to find the total number of advertisement hoardings including the unauthorised ones and the tax defaulters,” Ms Jain said.
According to Town Planning Committee chairperson Shainy Mathew, the city has a total 1,315 hoardings of which more than 700 have already remitted tax while many of the defaulters are unauthorised ones.
“During the last financial year the civic body collected Rs 1.45 crore as advertisement tax from hoardings. This year, right to collect tax from small publicity materials like billboards and posters has been entrusted with a private agency for a contract amount of Rs 50 lakh," said deputy Mayor T.J Vinod.
It was in 2012 that the City Corporation started collecting advertisement tax directly and the decision has brought windfall gains to the cash-strapped civic body. Earlier, the Town Planning Committee used to auction the right to collect tax for hoardings.