Thiruvananthapuram: The revenue wing of the City Corporation has been a total failure in collecting property tax - one of the main sources of revenue for the civic body.
During 2017-18 financial year, the civic body could collect only Rs 14.03 crores of the total Rs 72.4 crores. Many public sector institutions are among the tax defaulters and the civic body has hardly taken any effort to make them pay.
The authorities are yet to finish the digitization process of property tax at all 100 wards initiated by the civic body. Many state and centre establishments haven't paid property tax despite several demand notices from the civic body.
An official of the revenue wing said that they issue demand notice every six months to the defaulters.
Corporation secretary L.S. Deepa told DC that the civic body cannot initiate revenue recovery proceedings against state or central institutions. "We serve them notices repeatedly to make them pay taxes," she added. Trivandrum Development Authority (Trida), Police Headquarters, Kerala Water Authority, Public work department, Police training college, Medical college hospital, Kerala Medical Services Corporation, Sree Chithra Medical Centre, Food Corporation of India, Kerala State Housing Board, Jimmy George Indore Stadium are few among the defaulters.
An official said that the demand amount in the budget is superfluous and doesn't reflect the actual amount.
"We have given tax exemptions and there are disputes on the collection of tax from the SEZ (Special Economic Zone).
All these amounts don't reflect in the property tax demand. We have recently initiated steps to bring more clarity in the demand amount," said the official....