New tax reforms to be introduced by government next year will see an upward review of the property tax rate as well as the intensification of enforcement of the collection of that tax.
The Finance Minister during the 2018 budget reading reiterated that the constitution enjoins MMDAs to mobilize revenue through sources like the property tax, collection of which is low due to insufficient valuation capacity and the high cost of valuation.
Property income taxation has long been seen as an area largely neglected by Ghana’s tax authorities.
Enforcement of the tax has been weak, with property owners either not paying at all or deferring payment for years.
Some property owners who spoke to Citi Business News pointed out that even though they were willing to pay the tax, the authorities have not educated the citizens on how to pay and where to pay.
“If they simplify the payment system for us we will pay. I want to pay my property tax as a citizen but I don’t even know how to go about it. I think there must be proper education,” a property owner in Accra said.
Another said, “I’m aware of it but I don’t know the rate. The difficulty is that people in less developed areas find it hard to pay the property tax because they’ve not been provided with basic things”.
Meanwhile, a property owner who pays his tax maintained that “Everybody should do well to pay the property rate tax. I always pay mine. I paid GHC 100 this year”
Of all the MMDA internally generated funds mandated by the Local Government Act of 1993 (Act 142), property taxes provide the surest source of revenue if properly managed.
However, numerous challenges that inhibit adequate generation of revenue from real properties include poor database of real property inventory, obsolete valuation lists, inadequate and unskilled staff among others.