Use GSS Data To Increase Revenue Mobilisation; Otumfuo To Lands Commission

Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II has advised the National Lands Commission to utilise the data on Population and Housing from the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) in mobilising revenue internally for the government.

The GSS conducted census on the population and properties in 2021 and found that Ghana has a total of 9,837,153 million structures with 5.6 million used for residential purposes, 4.0 million for non-residential purposes, and 0.3 million for both residential and non-residential purposes.

This data, the King is of the view, can be strategically utilised in maximising internal revenue which is under-mobilised.

Ghana’s current tax to GDP is 13.7 %; less than that of 30 African countries, it is reported.

But according to the King, data on properties in the country will enable the Lands Commission -which is sanctioned for imposing and collecting levies, fees, charges for services rendered and others- to mobilise funds to help the country.

He suggested that the Commission take a keen interest in Property taxes and Leases. Property tax or property rate is a tax levied directly on properties. In Ghana, property taxes are governed by the Local Governance Act, of 2016 (Act 936).

“You must consider ground rent. Some of the proceeds from ground rent are given to district assemblies to undertake developmental projects. No one can own property in advanced countries without paying property taxes; If you default in paying, you will be sued.

“How many buildings do we have in Ghana? How many of them pay for the property rate? You must consider that…I suggested it to the Finance Ministry some time ago. The country is now suffering from an economic crisis. Domestic avenues must be utilised for funds as well. That is what advanced countries are doing to develop their countries. We have data from GSS on the number of properties in the country, why can’t we utilise it”, Otumfuo said.

He also advised the Commission to put in place policies that will entice people to pay for the taxes.

“Over here, I noticed that not all properties were under lease so I instituted a moratorium to encourage people to do it. If the Property rate will be successful, the Lands Commission must consider putting in place such a moratorium. The Lands Commission must put appropriate measures in place for people to pay for property rates. This must be done to mobilise revenue internally.”

Otumfuo said this when a delegation made up of the Lands Commission, Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources and some members of the National House of Chiefs called on him at the Manhyia Palace on Wednesday, November 16, 2022.

The delegation was led by the Deputy Minister for Lands and Natural Resources responsible for Lands and Forestry, Benito Owusu Bio, the National Chairman of the Lands Commission, Alex Quaynor and the Executive Secretary of the Commission.

Regional chairpersons of the Commission as well as staff members accompanied the delegation.

The Commission had convened a meeting with members of the National House of Chiefs over the Administrative Lands Act which was passed into law in July this year before the visit to the King.

Briefing the King about the meeting, Mr Quaynor informed him about the National Lands Conference which will be held by the Commission from December 6 to 9 this year.

Source: Fuseini

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