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Drive to list buildings kicks off Monday

A HOUSE-TO-HOUSE drive of listing all buildings for property tax collection begins on Monday.

Minister of State in the President's Office (Regional Administration and Local Government) Mr Selemani Jafo announced the two-week operation in Morogoro on Friday.

“The campaign will run from Monday up to February 28. I have directed all regional and district authorities as well as local leaders to go house-to-house countrywide to register all buildings for owners to pay taxes as the country needs revenues for development activities,” he said.

This operation will exclude buildings belonging to religious groups.

Mr Jafo made the announcement after President John Magufuli had inaugurated the Mahashree Agro Processing Industry at Mikese area along the Morogoro-Dar es Salaam highway.

“So let me inform all Tanzanians that on Monday we are going to start listing all buildings. My Permanent Secretary and I will lead this exercise,” he said.

The move comes after the government last week announced to have shifted the responsibility of property tax collection from the Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) to Local Government Authorities (LGAs).

Mr Jafo, together with Deputy Minister for Finance and Planning Mwanaidi Ali Khamis told reporters in Dodoma that the move is aimed at increasing government revenue.

The minister said the government tasked district, municipal and city councils to undertake the exercise to ensure revenue collected goes to development projects for the benefit of the wananchi.

He directed district, municipal and city council directors to come up with strategies that will ensure best practices in collecting revenue. 

“There must be a special plan that will enable the government to collect enough revenue from all specified areas,” Mr Jafo said.

He said District Executive Directors and local government authorities will be the key players since they are close to the people who own properties. 

All councils were tasked to ensure that the   government gets its rightful share through property taxes and other forms of fees.

Tanzania has implemented several major reforms of property tax collection system in recent years.

In 2008, a new system for property tax collection was introduced. The reform entailed shifting the responsibility for administration and collection of property tax from the municipal councils to TRA.

The government expected this measure to increase the revenue collection. However, in February 2014, it announced the return of property tax collection to the municipalities with immediate effect.

Moreover, in July 2016, property taxation was again centralised and TRA was assigned full responsibility for administering the tax in the country. 

At least 571.12bn/- was collected from the local government authorities during 2019/20 fiscal year. 

The collection was equivalent to 89.7 per cent of the target, which was to collect 765bn/-.

Tanzania’s President Samia Suluhu Hassan has arrived  ...

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Author: BERNARD LUGONGO

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