Property rate taxes are for the assemblies to develop their areas, not for central gov’t – Edgar Wiredu

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A Finance and Insurance Analyst, Edgar Wiredu has said property rate tax is not for the government to collect.

Rather, he said, it is purposely for the assemblies to develop their areas.

Speaking on the Key Points, on Tv3 Saturday March 26, he said “Property rate tax is something you cannot debate but they are not for the government. They are purposely for the assemblies to develop the area.”

The Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta announced that the government will begin the implementation and collection of the revised Property Rate by end of April 2022.

Speaking at a press conference in Accra on Thursday March 24, he said while announcing new measures to deal with the economic challenges that the government will “Begin the implementation and collection of the revised Property Rate by end of April 2022; implement the E-VAT/E-Commerce/E-Gaming initiatives by end of April 2022; roll out the simplified tax filing mobile application for all eligible taxpayers by July 2022; impress upon Parliament to fast track the passage of the E-Levy Bill, Tax Exemptions Bill, and Fees and Charges Bill; prioritise the Revenue Assurance, Compliance, and Enforcement (RACE) Programme to plug revenue leakages especially at the ports and the infamous fuel bunkering and small scale mining exporters cabal; government will partner the private sector to introduce digital systems to monitor quarrying, sand winning and salt winning to get more revenues from our natural resources; and immediately enforce the ‘No Duty – No Exit’ policy at the MPS Terminal at the Tema Port to improve revenue collection.”

Recently, the Director of the Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER) of the University of Ghana, Professor Peter Quartey told the government to focus on property rate payments as a means of raising domestic revenue.

He said the government must scale up property rate collection, not necessarily increasing the rates, as a way of taxing the rich.

Speaking in interview with TV3’s Alfred Ocansey, Prof Quartey said “To shore up revenue, I think there are a lot of untapped areas. One has been the issue of property rate and I keep emphasizing this point.

“If you look at the budget statement of 2022, we are earmarking half a billion cedis to be realized from property rates. Just go through the Bank of Ghana records, go through the banks, look at how many people have borrowed and how much the value of collateral they have used in one year, it will amaze you the value of properties that we have in the country.

“Yet, ask yourself what percentage of this property rate that we are realizing? So I believe the low-hanging fruits will be to look at property rate and make sure, we don’t have to increase the rate, whatever rate we have in the system, just apply them and make sure people pay property rate.

“If you tax the rich, that shouldn’t be a problem but where you want to tax the poor that is where it will lead to a lot of agitations. So I think that is one clear area we can raise revenue to bridge the gap and restore confidence in the economy. Investors will have confidence in the economy, rating agencies will have confidence if we are able to raise more revenue.”

By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana

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