The Coimbatore City Corporation in India has announced plans to conduct GIS (Geographic Information System) mapping in 20 wards to identify buildings that are being under-assessed for property tax. Under-assessed buildings are those where the owner pays taxes for a lesser extent of the building than its actual size.
To carry out this mapping, the corporation will engage a specialized agency that will use drones to capture the extent of the building size. This data will then be used to determine the actual size of the building in square feet. The corporation staff will also conduct field visits to verify if the buildings are being used for their approved purpose.
According to Corporation Commissioner M Prathap, under-assessments result in a revenue loss for the corporation, especially when commercial activities are conducted in residential buildings. Taxes for residential properties are typically lower, so the corporation aims to rectify this by levying appropriate taxes based on the accurate size of the buildings.
A pilot project was recently conducted in ward 68 (Cross Cut Road), and the subsequent field verification revealed significant deviations in many buildings. Out of the 3,200 buildings checked, at least 70 had more than a 60% deviation, while 100 had more than a 20% deviation. The corporation plans to focus on buildings with a deviation of 25% or more.
The GIS mapping will primarily take place in the west and central zones of Coimbatore, as well as some areas in the east zone where commercial buildings are predominantly located. The specialized agency can cover approximately 3 square km per day, and a total of 50 to 60 square km will be covered in the 20 wards.
By accurately assessing the taxes based on the actual size of the buildings, the Coimbatore City Corporation aims to augment its revenue inflow. It is worth noting that under-assessments are more common in Coimbatore, whereas buildings constructed without approval are rare in the city.
– Coimbatore City Corporation Commissioner, M Prathap