Chandigarh’s property tax system to go high-tech - Hindustan Times
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Chandigarh’s property tax system to go high-tech

By, Chandigarh
Jun 28, 2022 03:03 AM IST

Employing high-tech solutions, Chandigarh MC aims to strengthen its property tax management system to widen the tax base and improve grievance redress mechanism

From all properties getting geo-tagged to using drone mapped city-wide imagery, a big technical push is coming in the municipal corporation’s property tax services.

Currently, all property tax assessment in Chandigarh is done manually based on a survey that assesses the properties under the tax net, their covered areas and categories – residential, commercial, industrial, etc. (iStock)
Currently, all property tax assessment in Chandigarh is done manually based on a survey that assesses the properties under the tax net, their covered areas and categories – residential, commercial, industrial, etc. (iStock)

Employing high-tech solutions, MC aims to strengthen its property tax management system to widen the tax base and improve grievance redress mechanism.

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Currently, all property tax assessment is done manually based on a survey that assesses the properties under the tax net, their covered areas and categories – residential, commercial, industrial, etc.

A comprehensive, city-wide survey is generally done in six years or so, as it is hard to keep a constant tab on the changing property use and ownership.

The survey findings depend heavily on the ground staff and lots of discretion is involved, which can affect the tax base and property tax calculations.

Nitin Kumar Yadav, UT home secretary, who is also secretary, local government and science and technology, said, “Under the new system every property will be geo-tagged with the use of drone imagery. This will aid precise identification of property eligible for imposition of property tax.”

Geotagging is the process of appending geographic coordinates to a property based on its location, with its photos, contextual information, etc.

As part of the project, three-dimensional (3D) maps of the city have been completed at a cost of 4 crore. The 3D map formulation, which took nearly four years to complete, was done through aerial and mobile light detection and ranging (LiDAR) survey.

It has an accuracy of 2 cm and can identify the property, its use (commercial, residential, institutional, industrial), its total and covered areas and the geographical location. The final geotagging will be done only after ground truthing.

“Nearly 80% of the city’s properties will be covered through this 3D mapping technology. For other properties, which cannot be assessed through this system, mobile applications will be used. Laser-based coverage and property tax assessment can be done through these apps,” said Yadav.

The hub for the technology will be the Integrated Command and Control Centre (ICCC).

How will it benefit

“It will bring objectivity and transparency in the system, while removing the discretion of the officials involved. Also, lots of properties are not even surveyed currently, which leads to tax evasion,” said Yadav.

In case of any dispute over the coverage area or use of property, these technology solutions will be readily available. In addition, these can be easily verified on the ground by laser-based assessment apps and residents will able to hold MC officials accountable on property tax assessment.

There are around 1.36 lakh property tax assesses in Chandigarh, while the properties are numbered at over 3 lakh.

The entire data base will be updated every six months, making available latest information about the properties to MC as well as the public.

“We have completed the proof of concept exercise. The use of satellite imagery was also explored, but the system worked well with the latest LiDAR survey mapping, as these are of higher resolution. For extension of the programmer for the entire property tax management system, a tender will be floated soon,” said Yadav.

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