Surveyors to help MMDAs maximize revenue

BusinessesThe Ghana Institution of Surveyors, Valuation and Estate Surveying Division, has expressed readiness to help Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) to overcome their inability to maximize revenue from property rates.

Mr Emmanuel T. Martey, Division Chairman, made the offer at the Division’s 2013 three-day Annual seminar which commenced in Ho on Wednesday.

He said the Institution’s offer would contribute to the grounding of the bottom-up development concept envisaged under the District Assemblies concept.

Mr Martey said the performances of the Assemblies “have not been optimal mainly due to weak financial basis” and they needed to “fashion out innovative strategies that would lead to increasing cash flows”.

He said property taxation had been identified as one of the principal sources of revenue for the Assemblies.

“The Assemblies through Property Rates alone, if effectively and professionally managed, can generate substantial amount of money to finance their expenditures,” Mr Martey said.

He said there was the need for the Assemblies to establish appropriate basis and methods of rating assessments, prepare valuation rolls to cover all properties within the jurisdictional areas and configure efficient machinery for rate collection.

Mr Martey said “undoubtedly, the role of the professionals, academicians and practitioners in this mix must be phenomenal so as to get the destination desired”.

The theme of the seminar, the first to be held outside Accra is “Maximization of Property Taxation for Accelerated District Development”.

Mr James E.K. Dadzie, President of the Ghana Institution of Surveyors (Gh.IS), said there was the need to wean the assemblies off the Common Fund as their major source of funding.

He said the assemblies must overcome poor tax administration practices and policy formulation processes.

“Tax administration and policy issues should be critically examined to unravel the various bottlenecks accounting for this phenomenon, so that strategies for improvement can be designed,” Mr Dadzie said.

He also asked the “assemblies to consider seriously the employment of professionals including surveyors to assist in the management of property rates”.

Mr Francis Ganyaglo, Deputy Volta Regional Minister, said decentralization as envisioned under the District Assembly concept was the key to the rapid development of the country.

He expressed regret however that the assemblies were not garnering enough resources at the local levels.

Mr Ganyaglo said the dependence of the assemblies on central government transfers, which often delayed, cripples their (assemblies) activities.

He called on the assemblies to take their internally generated fund collection more seriously as they “could be sitting on gold yet complaining of poverty”.

Source: GNA

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