Each property in Maharashtra’s cities and towns will soon have a unique identification number. To bring more properties under the property tax net, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis-led Urban Development department has decided to implement a GIS-enabled tax tracking system across all cities on a priority basis.
While the Maharashtra Cabinet on Tuesday approved a proposal to spend Rs 280 crore for the implementation of the new tracking system in the 21 smaller municipalities, catering to a population of 1 lakh to 5 lakh, and 357 municipal councils, Manisha Mhaiskar, Principal Secretary, Urban Development, said that directives would separately be issued to the bigger municipalities to undertake the measure on a priority basis.
Officials said that the plan was to evolve a digital database of all urban properties. Using remote sensing devices and drones, the government is also planning to obtain data on the extent of use and the current user of these properties. A mobile tax-tracking application will later be developed. Around 30 per cent of the properties in emerging towns are yet to come under the tax net, officials estimate. In bigger cities, the percentage of those outside the tax ambit could be even larger, said officials.
Under the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT), the Narendra Modi government has directed states to bring 90 per cent of properties in urban agglomerates under the tax net by 2019. The whole idea is to enhance tax collections of urban local bodies without burdening the taxpayers. “This would reduce their overall dependence of central and state grants for development activities,” a senior official said.
The Maharashtra Remote Sensing Application Centre, Nagpur, has already been appointed as a nodal agency for the reform. Officials said tenders for appointing independent agencies to carry out the mapping work in cities will be issued soon.
“Each property will have a unique GIS-enabled identity once the mapping has been carried out,” said an official. The government has projected doubling of the property tax revenues of smaller urban bodies once the reform is implemented.