Case Study: Geospatial-Based Cloud Solution for City Revenue Collection for Panaji Municipal Corporation
Property taxes are the primary source of financing the development of urban infrastructure and carrying out city operations. The vicious cycle of inadequate infrastructure leads to inefficient assessment systems for properties in cities, which leads to a huge gap in property tax collection. While a country as geographically and demographically vast as India is capable of generating $50 billion per annum in property taxes, only 37% of this amount ends up getting collected every year.
The Panaji Municipal Corporation, Goa, undertakes property tax assessment based on the unit area of properties, with tax being payable on the per-unit price of the built-up area of the property concerned. The municipal corporation collects three different kinds of taxes depending on the property type – house tax for residential buildings, trade license fees for commercial buildings, and signage taxes for signboards.
As people from neighbouring rural areas constantly change geographies, shifting their base to urban areas, the ULB’s inadequate data collection systems pose a persistent challenge. Not only was the dataset used for tax collection incomplete, but also massive shortcomings in realizing appropriate revenues for citizens were felt for years.
To help streamline the process of tax collection for the Panaji Municipal Corporation, an online property tax solution based on a robust GIS platform was created. This cloud-based software solution enabled intelligent revenue management using data analytics for collection and analysis of residential and commercial property data. Data from different locations within the city were collected and integrated in real-time, enabling timely updates and database completion.
The entire process of tax collection was digitized and consequently updated with baseline maps linked with real-time property tax data. The integrated database holistically covered all-round information on property usage and ownership, along with geo-tagged photographs for complete transparency.
It was due to the deployment of this integrated technology that the Panaji Municipal Corporation realized that only 79% of the city’s properties fell under the CCP House Tax net, while 21% were not taxable. 23% buildings that were not stated under the CCP database were located, 61% businesses that were not formerly paying due commercial taxes were identified, and 47% of due signage taxes not raised in a long time were detected. With these and other findings, the ULB managed to increase its tax collection revenue by ₹5 million in a single ward.
- Efficient data management by the ULB without an expensive infrastructure integration
- Enabling of data field validation helped in capturing missing features
- GPS devices aided door-to-door property data capture for detailed assessment
- Region-wise real-time updates of property ownership and total tax collection supported