The government is going in for tax mapping of Ponneri town panchayat on a pilot basis using Geographical Information System (GIS) to improve revenue from property tax.

The government has agreed to grant Rs. 36 lakh based on a project proposal by the Director of Town Panchayats for the introduction of GIS in Ponneri, a fast expanding town adjoining the Chennai Corporation limits. This would help in plugging loss of revenue to the town panchayat by bringing un-assessed properties under the tax net.

To be implemented on a pilot basis, officials at the Directorate say the tax mapping would step up revenue generation and utility improvisation. The survey and verification of properties through GIS mapping would facilitate increase in number of assessed properties and calculation of constructed area.

“Tax mapping through GIS will generate more revenue to the government. For instance, owners of buildings could be paying much less by giving false information about the size of the constructed area. Many others could have converted the residential area into commercial space but would not have disclosed the detail to urban local bodies,” says R. Jaganathan, Head (in-charge), Department of Geography, University of Madras.

Through GIS tax mapping, the urban bodies would be able to know every detail. It would facilitate improved and efficient property tax collection, he says, adding that research studies have been conducted in neighbouring States where tax mapping has been taken up on a pilot basis.