Property tax is one of the most potent sources of revenue for Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) in India. However, dealing with issues related to accessing detailed information regarding a property, location, encumbrance, property tax, and disputes is something that all ULBs face.
The information related to property tax is not integrated with other pieces of information, such as encumbrance and disputes. This is owing to the fact that there is no convergence with the data from the registration department. Hence, looking for information about the property is a cumbersome and time-consuming process.
The government’s dependence on revenue collection from property tax, to finance infrastructure and city operations, is well known. Whenever there is a lack of funds, growth and progress is stifled, and the economic potential of the city is reduced to half. By leveraging GIS to create a GIS-based property tax assessment and management system, the government is able to check the total tax collection for a defined area and compare it against the collection expectations from that area. Post this; the tax amount can be re-planned based upon the changes in the urban development plan and the new construction. This can eventually lead to the development of a detailed system, which focuses on the new development areas to improve tax collection.
GIS can help in monitoring property tax revenue by creating a common platform that visually links all property-related data, including the number of floors in the building, the total constructed area of building, individual plot areas, details related to the locality, and road facing details, along with the principles of applied tax calculation. It can store accurate information regarding tax payables and revenue collection. These can be monitored visually. It is also capable of sending automated notices to taxpayers periodically and updating them about the dues that are pending.
Having a visual representation of the entire property tax system will not only help in building an efficient and accurate tax collection mechanism but also aid in reducing the frequency of field visits for redressal of complaints. Apart from this, GIS can also provide accessibility to all civic departments that are related, thus enabling a transparent and consistent system for tax assessment.
Leveraging GIS for property mapping, along with the integration of property information, helps the citizens in gaining information about the property at the click of a button. The information regarding the name of the owner, property tax, property mutation, and disputes is easily made available, which reduces the transaction time for businesses or individuals who are seeking relevant information related to a particular property. In fact, the database can eventually be leveraged for the creation of digital door numbering for all properties.
Other initiatives, such as revenue augmentation and service delivery, can benefit greatly from GIS-based property tax mapping. The ULBs can utilise the integrated database on spatial and non-spatial information for proper mutations, property details and other utility services associated with property information. GIS-based property and tax management offers greater accountability and can increase the revenue for local bodies by manifold. The system enables ULBs to have an accurate record of properties in line with the property tax jurisdiction and provide a 360-degree view of the taxable revenue stream. In addition, it offers complete compliance with local body relations and providing real-time data for analytical reporting and notification.
By having access to comprehensive data, analysis reports, tax collections, and revenue forecasting, the administrators are able to make quick decisions which helps them in implementing policies in favour of citizens. Hence, GIS-based property tax mapping can go a long way in offering a win-win situation for both government and citizens.