Property tax is one of the most crucial sources for collection of revenue in India. However, due to the issues that are faced while trying to access the information related to properties-be it location, encumbrance, tax details, or disputes; the full potential of the source is not realised.
Traditional systems of revenue collection and management have for long been posing challenges for government and civic bodies. A gap has been generated between the revenue collection system and the growing economy.
Most of the time, information pertaining to property tax is not integrated with other information related to the property, due to which, there is a lack of convergence between the information stored with the registration department. Accessing information, in such a scenario, can be a time-consuming process. Leveraging new-age technologies such as GIS (Geographical Information System) can help in enhancing the revenue collection mechanism for government authorities. GIS can help in creating an effective system which, apart from enhancing the revenue potential, can also monitor the entire process, as well as, identify defaulters, if any.
How can geospatial solutions be leveraged to help civic bodies with property tax collection?
Given the constant migration of population from rural to urban areas-integrated townships have been witnessing a steady increase in population density. Owing to this factor, the role of a Municipal Corporation becomes more complex. Out of it, also arises the need for better infrastructure. System renovation and augmentation need to be carried out well in advance so that the need for quality infrastructure can be catered at a reasonable cost. Using geospatial solutions can help in increasing property tax collections which can, in turn, increase the net revenue for Municipal Corporations and help them facilitate the aforementioned needs.
Thus, the implementation of a geospatial solution can have the following advantages:
- Fresh property data can be collected from the site, which can facilitate a quick reassessment of the property tax.
- Developments, additions, alteration of status, that might have taken place in the city since the last assessment are recorded digitally via technology.
- Future updating becomes much easier once the foundation work is complete. This makes geospatial systems the best medium to maintain the inventory.
- Existing infrastructure can be analysed with commercial and technical aspects for any future planning or forecasting.
- Any need for maintenance, haulage or alternative options can be planned, which helps in saving effective manpower.
- Any potential properties within jurisdiction can be quickly identified and be immediately initiated for tax-levying processes keeping in mind all the tax-influential factors.
Integrated geospatial tools can help in the creation, maintenance and retrieval of property data along with geo-coordinates. With various user levels that follow the administrative hierarchy of revenue officials, data security can be ensured by exclusive login credentials that are password protected and allotted to officials. With a single click, a revenue officer can have a list of defaulters, which will help in enhancing revenue collection in a much-reduced timeframe.
An efficient GIS can not only aid local civic bodies in monitoring property taxes in an efficient manner. It can also facilitate information sharing between various departments, which eventually helps in better local governance.
The author is co-founder and director, Transerve Technologies. Views are personal.