argentina drones

Space Evaders: This summer drones detected hundreds of new homes registered as vacant lots.

In Uruguay they’re used to maximize farm productivity. In the US, they may soon be used to expedite Amazon shipments. And in Argentina, they’re being used to patrol neighborhoods and detect real estate tax evaders.

“First Satellite Images, Now The Drones Have Arrived” is the headline of Gonzalo Chicote’s article in iProfesional detailing how local tax authorities are using drones and NASA images to monitor real estate irregularities in Buenos Aires gated communities and popular tourist destinations along the coast like Mar del Plata, Carilo and Pinamar.

While images captured from 18 satellites are the first step in the property probing process, the drones lead the second sortie outfitted with 16 megapixel cameras able to detect objects as small as 5 centimeters with a margin of error of 2 centimeters.

The drones were busy this summer detecting hundreds of new construction properties declared as vacant lots including 300 new homes in Monte Hermoso; 242 homes, 45 swimming pools and 67 buildings in Mar del Plata; 100 new homes in Pinamar; 40 new homes in Carilo and a four-star hotel in Salto.

Following new construction or expansion of a property, Buenos Aires property owners have 30 days from the time the property can be inhabited to report the new status. Fines for non-compliance can reach $75,000 pesos (US$9,500), but if an owner pays the property tax due within 15 days of notification, the fine is only $500 pesos.  (Full Story in Spanish)

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