The Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA) has trained and deployed 90 tax agents in Grand Bassa County to officially kick off its Real Property Tax Decentralization Project which will result in revenue-sharing between the government and the county.
According to the LRA, the project seeks to ensure registration, documentation and evaluation of all real properties in Grand Bassa county, beginning with Electoral District #3.
The initiative also aims to expanding the collection of real property tax to enhance revenue growth. In accordance with the Local Government Act of 2018, fifty (50) percent of all taxes collected from real properties in the County will be allotted to the county for local development.
Speaking during the deployment of LRA Tax Agents in Buchannan, Grand Bassa, LRA Assistant Commissioner (AC) for Real Estate Tax Division James A. Jaber, said tax agents will use GIS Technology and a new digital appraisal system developed to automate property valuation. The technology has also been integrated with KoboCollect to streamline the real property data collection process. AC Jaber thanked the local county leaders, UNDP Liberia and the Government of Sweden for their support and firm cooperation.
UNDP Liberia Project Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist Eric Boykai, challenged the Tax Agents to be steadfast in the performance of their assigned task by ensuring holistic community entry approaches when engaging taxpayers and real property owners. He also urged them to focus on the goal of the project by being remaining neutral especially, during this period of electioneering activities. “In your capacity, you should serve as neutral agents. As tax agents, you should be neutral, that is the only way you will be able to collect information or data relevant for this project,” the UNDP official said.
For his part, Grand Bassa County Superintendent Eddie Levi Williams, stressed the importance of data collection which he noted informs policy perspectives and decision making.
Superintendent Williams challenged the tax agents to be good ambassadors and diligent in the exercise of their task while encouraging citizens and owners of real properties to fully cooperate to ensure a successful implementation of the project.
“Represent Grand Bassa County. Do your work correctly. At the end of the day, when this project takes it real course, the development that we yearn will come…. The 50% that comes will be turned into development for you,” Supt. Williams said.
The superintendent lauded the LRA and its partners for the initiative and assured that “the people of Grand Bassa County accept the project”, noting, “You can count on us as county leaders.”
The project is being implemented in collaboration with the Ministry of Internal Affairs, with support from the Swedish Government through UNDP-Liberia. The LRA and partners in 2021 begun the Real Property Tax Expansion Project in Margibi County in line with the Local Government Act. Press Release