LRA/LMDI Strengthen Tax Awareness In Rural Liberia, Enlightens Lawmakers On Real Estate Property Tax Payment

(Monrovia, April 25, 2018): The Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA) in collaboration with the Liberia Media Democratic Initiative (LMDI) has intensified a Tax Education Roadshow to reach several potential taxpayers in rural Liberia.

Commissioner General Elfrieda Stewart Tamba on April 2, 2018 launched the LRA/LMDI roadshow in Monrovia. The roadshow is covering several urban and rural cities, towns and villages in four selected counties.

The project, sponsored by the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA), is part of massive efforts to sustain the LRA tax education program with the aim of enhancing the knowledge of rural dwellers about Liberia’s general tax regime.

The campaign is a key component of the Student Tax Education Program (STEP) which specifically targets enhancing tax awareness in Montserrado, Nimba, Grand Gedeh and Grand Bassa Counties. Roadshow activities have however covered several areas in Bong County including Palala, Gbartala, and Totota.

Pulling hundreds of citizens in town halls and school auditoriums, the roadshow has also reached citizens in Compound No. 2 of Grand Bassa County; Saclepea, Ganta, and Negbein in Nimba County.

Being implemented by the LMDI through an interactive outreach media platform code named “The Dialogue”, the awareness campaign is focusing on the payment of taxes, the processes of Real Estate and Small Business Tax payments. It’s also involved with the establishment of Tax Clubs in selected high schools and the organization of quizzing competitions and debates between and amongst the high schools.

Meanwhile, rural dwellers have lauded the LRA and LDMI for the conduct of the tax education and enlightenment roadshow campaign, expressing their willingness to be a part of the tax payment process.

They described tax payment as a major boost for nation building, but called for a more transparent and genuine collection and usage of taxes including the decentralization of the country’s developmental programs.

The people described the exercise as a welcoming game changer for the lawful collection of taxes for Liberia’s development.

LRA Commissioner General Elfrieda Stewart Tamba, launching the roadshow on April 2, described the campaign as a vital initiative geared towards strengthening domestic resource mobilization for Liberia.

“It is through tax education that we can harden voluntary compliance and this remains a cogent part of our Corporate Strategic Plan,” she indicated.

In a related development, the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA), in its continuous drive to maximize the collection of lawful revenue, has conducted a tax clinic on real property tax at the National Legislature for members of the House of Representatives.

The exercise, conducted Tuesday, April 24, 2018, presented key processes and procedures to lawmakers on how to be complaint with their real property tax payment.

Presenting in the Plenary of the House of Representatives, Domestic Commissioner Darlingston Y. Talery said the LRA is mandated to encourage Liberians to embrace the culture of paying taxes in order to collect revenue to finance the development of the country.

Commissioner Talery explained to the lawmakers their real property tax obligations under the law, the step-by-step procedures in paying these taxes and the kinds and categories of real property taxes including residential, commercial as well as rural and urban properties, among others.

During his presentation, the Domestic Tax Commissioner explained the enforcement procedures of overdue taxes after due dates and also provided enlightenment and rental income tax payments for those who are renters.

Meanwhile, the Speaker of the House of Representatives Honorable Bhofal Chambers welcomed the awareness by LRA. The speaker noted that as indicated by law, it is obligation of every citizens in the republic to pay their real estate property tax.

The Speaker described the LRA’s initiatives as brilliant and lauded the Authority on behalf of the Legislature for the enlightenment exercise.

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About Cholo Brooks 11653 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.