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Friday, July 19, 2024

LRA REAL ESTATE EXPANSION PROJECT NETS OVER 20,000 REGISTERED PROPERTIES IN BASSA, MARGIBI

Date:

MONROVIA – The Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA) has registered and documented at least 20,000 real properties under its ongoing real estate decentralization project in Margibi and Grand Bassa Counties.

LRA Commissioner General James Dorbor Jallah announced that the project, supported by the Government of Sweden and various partners, has brought 12,000 properties in Margibi County and 9,000 in Grand Bassa County into the tax net.

This initiative is a key part of efforts to implement the Local Government Act of 2018 and the Revenue Sharing Act of 2022. These crucial pieces of legislation aim to promote inclusive revenue mobilization to support local development and public service expansion.

The laws mandate that revenues collected from real properties in the counties be shared equally with local authorities, meaning the central government will share the revenue collected from registered properties with local governments.

Commissioner General Jallah provided an update on the project during a recent meeting of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Decentralization, which was attended by President Joseph N. Boakai. Several government officials and development partners were present, all expressing their support for the full decentralization of public services and development.

The LRA Commissioner General stressed the need for all government stakeholders to collaborate effectively to achieve holistic decentralization of governance. He emphasized the importance of educating taxpayers, improving technological infrastructure, and building capacity at the local level as key elements for successful decentralization.

“Decentralization is achievable but requires a holistic partnership and collaboration to make it happen,” said Commissioner General Jallah.

He also highlighted the need to establish partnerships to identify local revenue sources, allowing counties, cities, townships, and boroughs to levy their own taxes. This effort aims to strengthen and finance local governments. Key actions include creating a database for identifying real properties, enforcing compliance with registration and payment, and setting up revenue-sharing mechanisms.

The LRA decentralization project – still in its pilot stage – was launched in 2021 in Margibi and later extended to Grand Bassa in 2023, providing job and contractual opportunities for residents, especially young people.

Owners of registered properties are brought into the country’s tax net and issued tax identification numbers, making them ready to pay their Real Property Tax. The primary goal of the project is to decentralize the administration and collection of real property taxes, thereby fostering revenue growth.

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