Bringing Property Owners into the Tax Net in Senegal
The IMF and World Bank revenue statistics show that, between 2000 and 2012, property taxes represent on average of 0.1 to 0.2% of GDP in Sub-Saharan Africa (0.1% in Senegal). In OECD countries, the average range is between 2-3% of GDP. This poor performance suggests considerable scope for improvement. In Senegal, as in most developing countries, with cadaster shortcomings, weak administrative information and IT systems and poor enforcement tools, most local administrations experience substantial shortfall in property tax revenues. Yet, property taxes, when well functioning, have many virtues. Based on experiences in developing countries, the data-led approach to property tax reform posits that technological upgrades in the collection and processing of property information could increase administrative efficiency (McCluskey et al, 2018, Rosengard, 1998; 2012). Data-led work can also help improve the approaches to valuation, reducing the costs of assessing property tax liability (Franzsen and McCluskey, 2017, Fish 2018). A second approach to property tax reform focuses on increasing voluntary compliance. This project seeks to interrogate the relevance of both channels and the impacts of implementing a new property tax management system in Senegal.