LIBERIA: LRA Trains 90 Real Property Tax Agents In Grand Bassa
The Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA) on Thursday (June 22) commenced the training of at least 90 tax agents in Buchanan City, Grand Bassa County, as part of activities to expand the Local Government Real Property Tax Decentralization project.
The Real Property Tax Decentralization project, funded by the Swedish Government through UNDP, seeks to ensure that 50 percent of all revenues collected from real properties in the County will be disbursed to the county for development initiatives in line with the Local Government Act of 2018 and the Revenue Sharing Law of 2022.
The recruitment and training of the tax agents follow series of consultations and engagements with local county officials and citizens since October 2022.
The Tax Agents are being trained to locate and/or identify new and existing real properties and update the LRA real estate database through the use of GIS Technology. They are being trained in customer services, strategic engagement with real property owners, as well as the core values of the LRA, among others.
The tax agents will be involved with community outreach and awareness in Electoral District 3, Buchanan City and its environs in capturing real property in the tax net.
Initially piloted in Margibi County and currently in Grand Bassa County, the project will later be extended to the rest of the country, said James A. Jaber, Assistant Commissioner for Real Estate Tax Division.
Mr. Jaber noted that the revenue sharing scheme will empower citizens, through their local governments, to undertake development priorities that will benefit them most.
The Grand Bassa County Superintendent, Hon. Janjay Biakpeh lauded the Government, through the LRA for the initiative, and called on the recruited tax agents to give the training all their best, urging the people of Grand Bassa to celebrate the project.
“We are happy for this project because this is the first time in our country’s history that we will collect revenue in our county and all will not go to Monrovia and stays there, but come right back to us,” Baikpeh said, adding, “I want you all to own this project. Make it part of your life and take it as your personal project.”
Commissioner General, Thomas Doe-Nah on December 15, 2021, launched the Local Government Real Property Tax Expansion pilot project in Kakata City, Margibi County.
The CG described the project as the start of a “monumental” trust of government to consolidate its decentralization plan to drive and share development across the country.
He said the project is consistent with the government’s domestic resource mobilization strategy that seeks to boost revenue and development.