Residents of Çalış, Fethiye have been contacting us about a “road tax” they have been asked to pay with their final instalment of council tax for 2009. Some residents are puzzled as to why they have to pay an additional sum and why, in some cases, it is in excess of 1,000 TL. So we went to the local Council to find out why.

Over the last few years Fethiye Council (Belediye) has been carrying out a huge programme of road and other infrastructure improvements working from the town centre out to the suburbs.

The once dirt roads have been upgraded with either concrete parquet or asphalt.

But with no central government funds available to fund the works the cost falls on the council tax payers of Fethiye.

The first areas of Fethiye to receive the upgraded roads have already paid the additional costs as part of their annual council tax bill.

But for Çalış residents who only received the upgrades recently their share of the costs is now due.

We asked a Council employee responsible for council tax how Çalış residents can find out how much they owe.

Turgut said “Please come into our offices in the town centre with your council tax number and we will tell you how much you owe.”

“We can explain how the costs have been calculated and how that relates to your bill.”

He added “If payment is made by the end of December 2009 there will be a 25% discount”.

We asked if absent property owners could pay their bill via the bank to the Council but were told they do not have that facility at present and only payments made by cash at the office are acceptable.

So if you are unsure of how much you owe and how it was calculated get down to the council offices for more information.

Be prepared for a shock though. We have been contacted by some readers who have found their share of the road improvements is in excess of 1,000 TL per property.

If you are absent and want to take advantage of the discount you will need to speak with your agent or friends and make suitable arrangements to pay by the end of December.