They are investigating property tax irregularities from space. Two years of satellite detection in Wroclaw
For the past two years, Wroclaw has been using an innovative method of verifying areas subject to property taxes using satellites. Thanks to the method, named satellite detection, 238 irregularities have been detected so far, and the city budget has already recovered a total of about two million PLN.
Satellite detection is an innovative approach to verifying whether taxpayers have correctly declared areas for taxation. The service is provided by SatRev, a Wroclaw-based company that builds small satellites, among other things.
They verify tax returns with the help of satellite data
The first contract with the company was signed in October 2020. Based on the reports they receive with satellite "pictures," the office's employees verify the tax returns filed.
To date, we have analyzed 80 percent of the city's sites and conducted 529 verification activities. In 238 cases irregularities were detected. The taxed area was underreported and some facilities, such as outbuildings or garages, were not reported. We also succeeded in verifying buildings related to business activities.
Marcin Urban, treasurer of Wroclaw
Detection also made it possible to identify agricultural land that has been occupied for business activities. In that case, they are subject to property tax, not agricultural tax.
Thanks to satellite images, they recover thousands of PLN
For example, a sports facility that included tennis courts was detected in this way. After it was determined that the building was related to economic activity, the city recovered 70 thousand PLN.
The same was true of the detection of a shed on one of the plots of land. It was found to be a car wash, i.e. a business activity, and the city recovered 5 thousand PLN. On the other hand, in the case of the understatement of the area of two other buildings, their owner had to give back more than 20 thousand PLN.
Satellite detection is an economic benefit, as it streamlines the process of verifying the area control of entrepreneurs in our city. On the other hand, it allows the official to very reliably assess a possible inspection of a particular building. This saves time and energy while increasing revenue to the city budget.
Tomasz Motyka, Councilman of Wroclaw, one of the initiators of the project
High efficiency of satellite detection
According to estimates, the revenue from the last five years, which are currently being verified, and the coming years could total more than 2 million PLN. Already 350 thousand PLN have gone to the budget of Wroclaw, and another 300 thousand PLN will be received in the near future, after the verification and field inspection is completed. The solution was cost-effective, because so far the city has paid PLN 204 thousand for satellite detection.
The current contract with SatRev runs until November 30, 2022, but the city plans to extend it. SatRev representatives are also satisfied with the cooperation.
Summing up the very successful cooperation with Wroclaw so far, this is the most important project of our company, which popularized the satellite detection service to the whole country.
Grzegorz Zwolinski, president of SatRev