Showing 25 - 36 of 53 publications
February 2018

Policy implementation under stress: Central-local government relations in property tax collection in Tanzania

by Odd-Helge Fjeldstad, Merima Ali & Lucas Katera

Inter-organisational cooperation in revenue collection has received limited attention in the tax administration literature. Recent experiences from Tanzania offer a unique opportunity to examine opportunities and challenges facing such cooperation between central and local government agencies in a developing country context. The administration of property taxes (PT) in Tanzania has been oscillating between decentralised and…

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January 2018

Taxation, Property Rights and the Social Contract in Lagos

by Tom Goodfellow & Olly Owen

Major taxation reforms over the past decade have been interpreted as facilitating the transformation of Lagos: once widely seen as a city in permanent crisis, it is now seen by some observers as a beacon of megacity development. Most academic attention has focused on personal income taxation, which comprises the lion’s share of government revenue…

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January 2018

How Do We Research Tax Morale at the Subnational Level?

by Jalia Kangave, Giulia Mascagni & Mick Moore

One of the most effective ways of increasing voluntary tax compliance is by improving tax morale. Several studies have been undertaken to examine why some individuals pay taxes while others do not. While many of these studies have been conducted at the national level, there is an increasing body of research at the subnational level. Three…

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January 2018

Taxation, Property Rights and the Social Contract in Lagos

by Tom Goodfellow & Olly Owen

Major taxation reforms over the past decade have been interpreted as facilitating the transformation of Lagos from of a city seen as in permanent ‘crisis’ to a beacon of ‘megacity development’. Most attention has focused on Personal Income Taxation (PIT). Less attention has been devoted to another innovation – the property tax or Land Use…

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October 2017

Urban Fortunes and Skeleton Cityscapes: Real Estate and Late Urbanization in Kigali and Addis Ababa

by Tom Goodfellow

In many parts of Africa, societies that remain primarily rural are experiencing accelerated urban growth and highly visible booms in property development. In the absence of significant industrialization, investment is pouring directly into what Lefebvre and Harvey characterized as the ‘secondary circuit’ of capital. Debates about the drivers of investment in real estate are longstanding…

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September 2017

Linking Property Tax Revenue and Public Services

by Wilson Prichard

In practical terms most property tax reforms are, first and foremost, efforts to increase tax revenue. But the ultimate goal of tax reform is, of course, broader: expanding tax revenue in order to finance the provision of valuable publicly-provided goods and services. Tax reform is only socially desirable if tax revenue is, in fact, translated…

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September 2017

Central-Local Government Roles and Relationships in Property Taxation

by Tom Goodfellow

Should central or local governments be responsible for collection and administration of property taxes? There is great variation in practice across the continent, but one particularly significant divide is that between francophone and anglophone countries. The former commonly adopt centralised systems, while the latter usually decentralise key aspects of property taxation such as collection and…

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September 2017

Strengthening IT Systems for Property Tax Reform

by Wilson Prichard & Paul Fish

The introduction of improved IT systems has long been hailed as a powerful – potentially transformative – tool for strengthening local property taxes. Yet in practice this promise has rarely been achieved on a sustainable basis in Africa, despite significant investment. The challenge lies in understanding why new IT systems have failed to deliver promised…

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November 2017

Valuation for Property Tax Purposes

by Nyah Zebong, Paul Fish & Wilson Prichard

Improving processes for valuing properties lies at the heart of efforts to improve the overall effectiveness of property taxation. Effective property taxation is impossible without efficient property valuation. I practice, however, valuation rolls across most of Africa are incomplete and severely out-of-date, thus dramatically reducing potential property tax yield. This is, at least in part,…

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Perspectives from the Field: SDC Cooperation for Property Taxation

by Giulia Mascagni & Christopher Nell

This paper reviews three projects implemented in the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation’s (SDC) Democratisation, Decentralisation and Local Governance Network (DDLGN) that aim to provide incentives for local governments to increase tax compliance and revenues. The investigation focuses on three projects that aim to improve local revenue mobilisation: (1) a competition among municipalities in…

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Property Taxation in Developing Countries

by Merima Ali, Odd-Helge Fjeldstad & Lucas Katera

Property tax (PT) raises on average revenues of less than 1 per cent of GDP in developing countries. In many African countries it contributes far less than 0.5 per cent. Following such low contribution, there is a growing eagerness among policy makers to increase its share in GDP. This policy brief provides a theoretical rationale behind such enthusiasm…

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Taxing the urban boom: property taxation in Africa

by Odd-Helge Fjeldstad, Merima Ali & Tom Goodfellow

The growth of Africa’s towns and cities has outpaced local governments’ capacity for service delivery in terms of management, infrastructure, and financing. As a result, many African towns and cities are now faced with a governance crisis. The restructuring of governmental functions and finances has entered the core of the development debate. Policy makers are…

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