LIBERIA: LRA Intensifies Talks On Real Property Tax Revenue-Sharing In Bassa

A Group photo of participants, stakeholders and officials at the LRA engagement meeting in Bassa

(Monrovia, December 20, 2022): The Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA), through its Real Estate Tax Division, has continued discussions with local stakeholders in Grand Bassa County to enlighten them about its real property tax expansion project in the county.

The project seeks to ensure 50 percent of all revenues collected from real property tax in the County will be disbursed to the county for development in line with the Local Government Act of 2018.

The first set of engagement with over 200 local county officials took place in Buchanan City and Gorblee, in Wee Statutory District, in November.

The recent meeting in Buchanan City brought together cross section of county and community leaders, representatives of the business and religious communities, civil society organizations, the media, women and youth groups, among others.  The discussions are providing information to the citizens and seeking their inputs to ensure the success of the revenue-sharing scheme of real property tax collected from the county.

LRA Assistant Commissioner for Real Estate Tax Division James A. Jaber called for the full cooperation and support of the people of Bassa in ensuring the success of the project.

He noted that with collective efforts, the project would provide gainful dividends to enhance the county’s development and progress.

“This is an opportunity for all of you in Bassa to register and pay your real property tax. It is important to note that in order for us to grow our revenue and to carry on programs and projects to improve the lives of our people, we must all be a part of paying our taxes, especially our real property tax,” he indicated.

Grand Basasa County Inspector Solomon Gargba urged the people of Bassa, mainly property owners, to take interest in the project. He urged participants of the dialogue to serve as ambassadors who will spread the project information to the rest of the county.  He reaffirmed the commitment of the county’s leadership in achieving the objectives of the LRA real property project.

The LRA is collaborating with the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA), Ministry of Finance & Development Planning (MFDP), and the Governance Commission (GC), with support from the Swedish Government and Irish Aid, through the Liberia Decentralization Support Program managed by UNDP Liberia, to hold the dialogues. 

UNDP’s National Program Coordinator, Mr. Augustus M. Zayzay, emphasized the importance of the project and assured the support of all partners to its full implementation and accomplishment.

Deputy MIA Minister for Research and Development Planning, Olayee S. Collins; Governance Commission, Commissioner George W. Howe; and MFDP’s Public Financial Management Specialist, Spencer A. Weah graced the occasions  and made statements of motivation.

In separate remarks, they stressed the importance of the real property tax expansion project as keen to decentralization and local development. They encouraged the locals to take ownership in making the project successful.

 

Meanwhile, the LRA has commenced the recruitment of Tax Agents who will be trained to locate and/or identify new and existing real properties and update the real estate database through the use of GIS Technology.

The selected LRA Tax Agents who are residents of Grand Bassa County will also carry on sustained awareness and sensitization of real property tax in their areas of assignment.

The LRA and partners in 2021 launched similar project in Margibi County and has led to identification and registration of at least 12-thousand properties in the tax net.

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About Joel Cholo Brooks 13530 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.
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