Tariffs imposed by the Government of Liberia is said to be posing strains on businesses here with an opposition leader calling on the George Weah administration to reduce taxes to ease the stress on the business environment.
The leader of the opposition political party Alternative National Congress (ANC) says reducing taxes is key to spurring growth since it provides an outlet through which people have more after-tax income, which increases their purchasing power and provides greater incentives for firms to invest more in the economy.
Mr. Alexander B. Cummings cites civil servants as an example, noting that lower taxes will provide the opportunity to take home more income and help offset the current inflation rate, which is on its way to four digits.
At the same time he recommends some short-term measures to the government, including funding the Liberia Revenue Authority to improve tax administration, especially in the area of e-taxation.His calls are inclusive of a 10-count recommendation submitted to the Chairman of the recently held National Economic Dialogue, Dr. Togo GayweaMcintosh.
Cummings wants the exchange rate disparity between wholesalers and retailers urgently addressed as well as lower the cost of importation of goods and give tax breaks or tax holidays on select items.
The former corporate executive also suggests that government should ensure all requirements for logging are met during the rainy season to allow operations begin at the start of the dry season, saying, “This will in urgent revenue.”
He calls on the government to reduce all non-essential spending to fund short-term growth activities, and immediately investigate all alleged cases of corruption and financial improprieties and forward persons of interest for prosecution.
The government seems to have already begun implementing some these recommendations as the Liberia Revenue Authority launched a Mobile App for taxpayers to protect the public against people impersonating as LRA employees.The LRA App is among several reform measures aimed at reforming tax collection and boosting revenue growth.
LRA Commissioner General Thomas Doe Nah explained recently the reform measures will include recalibrating and restructuring of the operations of the Domestic Tax Department with a focus on increasing real property tax and improving efficiencies.