Exploring the Potentials of a Gis-based Street Addressing System in the Management of Land Rates. Case Study: Machakos Town
A study on street addressing system reveals that there are several benefits associated with the system. In fact, it is one of the most feasible systematic efficient approaches for managing properties and locating places. A sizeable sample of planning authorities in developed countries have applied successfully street addressing to manage cities, towns and urban areas. Addressing allows for effective revenue management, ease of navigation (way finding), identification of various properties including business location, provision of utilities and ease of circulation of emergency services such as ambulances, fire and security services among other benefits. However, regardless of its numerous potentials, there has been little effort to apply this concept in revenue management by the County Governments in Kenya. Land rates are the most important sources of local revenue for the devolved government. This is because land is immobile therefore rates from land are a certain sustainable source. Over the past five years, various counties have had challenging encounters in the management of land rates which have made the rating authorities issue waivers through print and visual media as a measure to lure defaulters in order to pay their arrears. This is an indication of management challenges perhaps due to lack of adequate information to make important managerial decisions and incorporation of technologies to track defaulters. About fifteen per cent of national budget funds is shared among 47 counties. These monies end up either in individual pockets, mismanaged and settling recurrent expenditure, leaving counties with the option of depending on locally generated revenue (inadequate) for development. The study focused on codifying streets and assigning addresses to land parcels (unique identifiers) within Machakos town (study area), did a comprehensive land rates inventory register using a GIS-based street addressing in the study area, and designed a GIS geo-database of street address index and land rates inventory. All this was done with the overall objective of designing a GIS-based Street addressing system and demonstrating its potentials in the management of land rates within the study area. Addressing helps in precise location of properties. Indeed, addition of the geo-spatial information component to the properties will enhance Machakos rating department and County Government at large to collect more rates through an improved revenue management system. The expandability and sustainability nature of GIS-based addressing system should allow Machakos County also to roll out the system to other towns and urban centres to improve on service provision, development and urban planning in the County. This system can be replicated in other counties as well.
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