LAHORE - The Exise and Taxation Departmmnet will complete the "digital photographic survey" of all residential and commercial buildings by June 2009, being conducted to ensure transparency and increase the property tax in the City. Though the survey was to be completed in September, 2008 but the deadline could not be met due to one and another reason. The department had collected around Rs 3.5 billion of the property tax during the last financial year. The purpose behind the pictorial survey is to determine the nature and size of the property. The tax 2009-10 will be levied in light of the survey. They survey will help the department about the property owner opting for litigation against their assessments. With a view to make the process transparent, the department has deputed the team of photographers having latest digital camera. The detailed photographs of different properties will be saved in computer with its complete data. Sources revealed that more than 0.3 million digital photographs have been taken so far. While around 0.8 million photographs would be taken more, sources added. Sources said that the department held detailed property survey after every five years to revise the property tax rates and nature of the land. Last survey was done in 2001 and implemented in June 2002. Since then the property tax is being levied on the basis of that survey. Sources said that surveying teams of the department had sped up their work. "They are going door to door to collect and amend the property data. Excise and Taxation department has requested people to contact Fareed Kot House, Lahore if they have any complaint or problem with these teams because they will have to pay property tax for next five years on the basis of this survey," sources disclosed. According to taxation rules and regulations, the exemption can only be given to five 'marla' houses, welfare organisations, property owned by government (federal, provincial or district), public utilities like park, mosque, graveyard etc, widowers, orphans and handicapped and a residential house of less than one kanal owned by retired government official in which he is himself residing. According to department data these exemptions make 35 per cent of total collection of tax in the province. There are four basic determining factors-type of property (commercial, industrial or residential), covered area, land area and nature of occupancy (self or rented) - to evaluate property tax. According to Ashraf Akram Gondal in Lahore High Court, property tax rate varies for different areas and categories. "Property tax is mandatory only for urban areas as it is linked to the civic facilities provided to citizens by the govt. The rate is fixed for a specific area according to our area-wise evaluation table," he says.