LRA, Partners Launch Landmark Real Property Tax Revenue-Sharing Pilot Project In Margibi County

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The Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA), in partnership with the Margibi County Local Government, the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA), and with support from the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP) has officially launched the local government real property tax administration expansion pilot project in Kakata, Margibi County.

   The project seeks to identify and register all real properties within the borders of Margibi County, with the aim of enhancing compliance and expanding the tax net. This will ensure that 50 percent of revenue collected from real properties in Margibi is returned to the people of the county for local development.

   Performing the official launch of the project on Wednesday, December 15, 2021, Finance and Development Planning Minister, Samuel D. Tweah, described the venture as a vital undertaking aimed at transforming revenue collection to accelerate the country’s developmental agenda.

   Minister Tweah said the new approach will pave the way in shifting the country’s fiscal decentralization program as the LRA continues to initiate innovative projects intended to move the budget from millions to billions, evident by the outstanding performance of the authority during recent years.

   He indicated that despite the need for external revenue funding, increase in domestic resource mobilization will play a major role in supporting the holistic development of Liberia to impact the lives of citizens.

   He commended the LRA and stakeholders for formulating the project, and assured government’s commitment to supporting the drive.

   LRA Commissioner General, Thomas Doe Nah, for his part encouraged the people of Margibi to take interest in the project as it would help to boost the development of the county.

   He described the project as historic, and noted that this was the first time in the country’s history for a direct fifty-fifty revenue sharing scheme program between the government and a local county administration to be introduced.

   CG Nah pointed out that Liberia as a country is overwhelmed with developmental challenges; as such, it was important for all citizens and businesses to fully contribute their fair share of taxes to mitigating such huge challenges.

   “As the human body needs blood to survive, taxes are the blood that flows through a country and ensures that it functions. It is now time that everyone pays their fair share of taxes in order to be less dependent on aid,” he strongly emphasized.

   Also speaking, Margibi County Senator, Emmanuel Nuquay, thanked the LRA and partners for selecting Margibi for the pilot and assured the commitment of the county’s leadership to fully supporting the initiative. 

   He said, “We appreciate this because it is an opportunity that will provide us the revenue envelope that will help develop our county, so we have the responsibility to make it work.”

    He urged the citizens and local leadership of the county to collectively support the implementation of the pilot project by making it succeed, and that this would serve as a very good leadership example for the rest of the counties.

   In remarks, Internal Affairs Minister, Varney Sirleaf, called on the people of Margibi, including local leaders, to take ownership of the project in order for it to achieve its goals.

   “This project is on your shoulders, the people of Margibi, and you have to help the LRA to achieve this. So, I am asking you now to go all out to ensure that enough revenue is raised to help develop Margibi,” he stated.

   The local government real property tax administration expansion pilot project is part of the effort to actualize the implementation of the decentralization of real property tax administration, in line with the Local Government ACT of 2018.

   The Act, among other things, calls for the establishment of adequate, identifiable and reliable sources of revenue by local authorities in ensuring a sustainable and recurring program of direct revenue sharing.

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