Property rates to go up – AMA Boss

Chief Executive of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly has revealed plans to increase property rates to about 300% of the current value. The Assembly, however, is engaging with the public on the matter before the n are announced.

“We have not implemented the new ones yet and even without that the rates are going,” he said in an interview with Class91.3FM on the sidelines of a policy workshop in Accra on Thursday, 23 May 2019.

Nii Adjetey Sowah on the sidelines of a policy workshop in Accra on Thursday, 23 May 2019

The last valuation exercise was conducted in 2006. It is mandatory to re-value properties every five years.

Using the Octagon – a multipurpose storey building adjacent the AMA office in Accra – to give an illustration about how much the new charges are expected to be, the mayor said the rate for that sprawling edifice is currently being computed based on property rates of 10 years ago, “but after the re-valuation exercise, it is likely to go up by 300 percent”.

In his address at the event, Mr. Adjei-Sowah noted that the skyline of Accra is seeing a lot more high-rise building, some as high as 20 floors or more, hence the need for an efficient property tax system to shore up revenue.

He said property rates are the main source of the assembly’s internally-generated fund but added that any rates implemented will be fair for property owners.

For his part, the Senior Technical Advisor for the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC), Dr. Wilfred K. Anim-Odame highlighted the need for effective domestic revenue mobilization to make the dream of achieving a ‘Ghana Beyond Aid’, as proposed by President Akufo-Addo, a reality.

Presenting findings from research conducted using data from the AMA on residential properties in the capital, Finance Professor Dennis Philip from Durham University in the UK pointed out the need for an incentive structure to encourage the payment of property rates.

The findings indicated that 59 percent of property taxes are collected by the AMA.

Professor Philip said infrastructure development and provision of amenities in communities are important to serve as motivation for residents to pay property rates.

Other policy considerations he proposed are:

  • Targeted reforms for specific population groups to sustain and improve long term compliance.
  • Stricter enforcement policies and payment friendly interventions.
  • Equitable distribution of amenities.
  • Uniformity and fairness in property rate changes.

Other members of the research team were Economics and Finance Professor, Damian Damianov and Ghanaian Ph.D. student Precious Brenni, all of Durham University, as well as Senior Technical Advisor for the NDPC, Dr. Wilfred K. Anim-Odame.

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