GIS Software in Property Tax Collection

Divyansh Rajput

Divyansh Rajput , Evangelist at Indshine

May 19, 2020


Lands and properties are considered as important entities for any Government. The property takes a center-stage for governance as well as revenue generation. Hence knowledge of the spatial distribution of businesses, properties, and their tax compliance status can be crucial in improving tax assessment and efficient collection of taxes.

GIS systems have turned out to be very effective to calculate and understand the tax assessments. Satellite/aerial maps along with manual surveys can be used to calculate the area of properties, and also additional information on the tax compliance status can be attached to the database.

GIS requires a simplistic approach:

Know Your Data —> Gather Your Data —> Analyse it in GIS Software

Know Your Data

GIS Software - Data used for Property Tax Assesment

The property tax assessment may rely on different parameters depending on states. Here are the most common parameters which play a crucial role in the property tax assessment. One requires to determine the geographical location of properties and their following attributes :

  • Type of property i.e. residential, commercial or industrial.
  • Unit area of the property – this is the built-up area of the property in square meters. Note that tax is payable on the built-up area and not on a carpet area basis. The built-up area is as certified by the developer or architect or by assessing officers of the government.
  • Age Factor – This factor takes into account the age of the building and provides for higher tax on newer properties and lesser tax on older properties in line with the market value.
  • Use Factor – This factor takes under consideration the usage of the property and provides for lower tax on residential use properties and better tax on and non-residential ones.
  • Structure Factor – This factor provides for a higher tax rate on RCC constructions and provides a lower tax rate on low-value constructions.
  • Occupancy Factor – charging higher property tax on rented out properties while charging lower tax on self-occupied ones.
  • Rebate – Rebate on Property tax as and when applied according to the government norms.

Gather Your Data

Now, since we have understood the important parameters, the next phase is how do we gather this data? There is a lack of reliable data on informal sector participation in tax compliance, so some level of innovation is necessary to improve their prospect of participation. With the help of friends and acquaintances, property owners can be encouraged to provide accurate data and strong confidentiality parameters must be established.

For determining the geographical location of properties and their attribute data following steps may be followed:

  • Since we are talking about the state-level database, it would be a huge task to gather it. So to ease the process, the whole area of concern can be divided into multiple smaller zones. Drone or satellite imagery may be procured to obtain a high-resolution map of the area. The zoning data overlaid on a base map may be printed out and used by various teams to serve as a guide to collect the attribute data.
  • Field surveying, the data are documented either with pen and paper or with handheld computers equipped with GPS by visiting the study area. The data collected may also be enriched with the data obtained from government departments.

Analyze your data using GIS software

Now, the important part is to compile all the information to generate insights and tax assessments. To start with, upload satellite/drone imagery which will serve as a base map. GPS coordinates of properties and businesses are prepared in an excel format and uploaded into the GIS Software environment where the coordinates are converted to point and polygon features, displayed and overlaid on the satellite or drone image.

GIS Software - Base map for Tax Assessment

Here shown is a base map(spatial data) captured using drones or satellites used for assessment of tax.

In the next step, an attribute table prepared is attached as the non-spatial data or attribute data in the Indshine GIS Software in an organized form to create a database.

Here's an excel file collected from the manual survey.

GIS Software - Excel Sheet for Tax Assessment

Here shown an excel sheet(non-spatial data) used for Tax Assessment.

After entering the attribute data into the GIS Software Environment, the spatial and the non-spatial data are linked to from the expected database aiding the database query aimed towards determining the owner of the property, type of property, the location, the unit area of the property, age factor, use factor, etc. using the toggles built-in Indshine GIS Software for quick hunting.

Here attached a sample project for reference.

In analyzing the data, descriptive statistical tools such as bar graphs and pie charts are used. Also, these visualizations and GIS maps developed on Indshine can be easily conveyed to decision-makers in a real-time and secured environment.

For more sample projects refer to our Project Library and to learn more about use cases of GIS Software follow our blog.

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