Simplifying Property Tax Administration in Africa: Piloting a Points-Based Valuation in Freetown, Sierra Leone

Authors: Kevin Grieco, Abou Bakarr Kamara, Niccoló F. Meriggi, Julian Michel, Wilson Prichard & Graeme Stewart-Wilson
Publisher: ICTD
Date: November 2019

Abstract:

Summary Brief Number 19

The current method of property valuation in Freetown, Sierra Leone is highly inaccurate and generally regressive, as it does not take subjective property characteristics that are major determinants of value into account. The newly elected Mayor Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr made revenue mobilisation a central pillar of her ‘Transform Freetown’ agenda. As a means of achieving this, the Mayor and her advisers began to reach out internationally for reform advice. This brief outlines a pilot project carried out jointly by the IGC and ICTD for a new approach to property valuation in Freetown using a points-based valuation methodology in the Freetown context. The project had six key findings, including that high-level political leadership was a major enabler of the project’s success. The authors outline 6 policy considerations for future scale-ups of the research and for reforming property tax in Freetown.