The Assistant Commissioner for Real Estate Tax Division at the Liberia Revenue Authority on Saturday, August 5, 2023 says Revenue sharing scheme will empower citizens through their local governments by undertaking development priorities that will benefit their county.
He made the disclosure at the three days training workshop of over 90 tax agents in Electoral District 3, Buchanan City, Grand Bassa County as part of several activities to expand the local Government Real Property Tax Administration Decentralization phase two project.
The Real Property Tax Administration phase two expansion project is geared towards the government’s domestic resource mobilization strategy that seeks to boost revenue collection, growth and development across the rural area.
The training focused on data collection tools, qualitative and quantitative features of appraisal using an Electronic Mass Automation Appraisal System (EMAAS), data quality assurance, tax agents’ demonstration of appraisal features of KoboCollect & EMAAS followed by field exercises that demonstrated tax agents understanding of the data collection tools.
Assistant Commissioner Jaber noted that the project commenced in Electoral District 3 and is expected to be implemented in the remaining four electoral districts in Grand Bassa County. He indicated that the project is intended to boost a revenue tax base and ensure that counties benefit from a fair share of revenue collected as part of government effort to decentralize development across the various county levels.
Few months back, similar project was piloted in Margibi County with a fifty percent share between Margibi local authorities and central government and will be extended to other counties as part of the National Development Plan called the Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development (PAPD) that explains given power to its own citizens.
The Tax expert thanked Grand Bassa County local authority for the opportunity given to work together through tax awareness, communities’ engagement and person to person dialogue to enhance tax base expansion and develop projects across the county.
“Thanks to Grand Bassa County local authority for the opportunity given to work together through tax awareness, communities’ engagement and person to person dialogue to enhance tax base expansion and develop projects across the county,’’ he explains.
According to Mr. Jaber, the Real Property Tax Administration Decentralization project phase two was centered around recruitment, selection, training and deployment of the Tax Agents through consultations and engagements with local county officials and citizens.
He stated that during the engagement in the county, the LRA collaborated with County and Local Officials and several radio stations in the county to carry out radio announcements, print and media courage, hold talk shows, jingles, flyers distribution, forum for community awareness and outreach on real property tax.
For his part, the United Nations Development Program representative, Mr. Eric Boykai praised the Liberia Revenue Authority, especially the Real Estate Tax Division for the level of commitment, training conducted and close engagement with the Tax Agents.
He added that by working towards accomplishing tax base expansion projects will serve as an opportunity to transform their various communities and counties.
The Real Property Tax Administration Decentralization project is funded by the Swedish Government through the United Nations Development Programs in Liberia to ensure that all revenues collected from registration and payment of real property tax in the county will help to enhance local development initiatives through revenue sharing in consonance with the Local Government Act of 2018 and the Revenue Sharing Law of 2022.
The three days training was attended by the United Nations Development Program Representative, Mr. Eric Boykai, Assistant Commissioner James A. Jaber, County officials, 90 Tax Agents, the Real Estate Tax Division Manager for Accounts & Records Section, Mrs. Scholastica Nimley, Staffs from the Valuation Section, Liberian Consultants to the project and other staffs from the Liberia Revenue Authority.