The Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA) Commissioner General Elfrieda Stewart-Tamba has blamed the depreciation of the Liberian dollar against the US dollar on several factors.
Tamba said the local currency is depreciating because of a deteriorating trade environment and a high demand for imports, which have increased the need for foreign exchange while at the same time increasing government’s expenditure in Liberian dollars.
Commissioner Tamba noted that the depreciation of the Liberian dollar is adversely affecting revenue performance “because of the trickle-down effect from trade.”
She said tax collection is enhanced when there is a boost in trade, “but as the case stands with the rate of the US dollar to that of the Liberian dollar, trade is negatively impacted and it is also affecting revenue collection.”
The Commissioner pointed out that income generation at some major income generating entities of the Government of Liberia (GoL), such as the National Port Authority (NPA) and other ports of entry, including the RIA, depreciated in the current fiscal year (2016/2017) by four percent.
She was speaking when she presented statistical data at a meeting of stakeholders and the media Thursday.
“Due to the depreciation of the Liberian dollar against the US, there has been a great decline in the purchasing power of Liberians and foreign nationals residing within our borders,” said the LRA boss.
She added that false declaration and under-declaration by unscrupulous business entities and individuals have to some extent affected the revenue generation of the country as well.
Madam Tamba made specific mention to five ‘top’ hotels that are among business entities which have ‘under-declared’ their intakes in business revenue.
She, however, failed to name any of the hotels on grounds that they will be disclosed at a later date.