Increased Revenues Mobilized by Local Communities through a Fiscal Cadaster System
Signing Ceremony at MLGRD
Four new local governments have received support from UNDP and UNCDF to improve transparency and accountability of their tax administration and increase their internal revenue mobilization. The beneficiaries are Kambia, Western Area Rural, Bo and Bonthe District Councils. Support included setting up the fiscal cadaster system and providing equipment for the valuation offices. Equipment comprises an ICT package and a projector. The handing over ceremony was co-organized by the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development (MLGRD) and the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development/Local Government Finance Department (MoFED/LGFD). The support fits in the process of scaling up the LED programmes beyond the current target local councils (Kenema City, Kenema District, Moyamba and Tonkolili District Councils). Thanks to their new business and property cadaster systems, Kenema City and Kenema Districts have been able to increase their internal revenues by 50% in two years (see table below).
Source: Kenema District Council Finance Department, December 2013
A similar trend was observed KCC for the same period. In 2012 the Council could mobilize closed to 900 million Leones. A year later, the revenue mobilized almost reached a peak of 1,2 billion Leones (see table below). Improved transparency and accountability are additional outcomes of the new system. For the first time, revenue collected by LCs are made public including posting on public notice boards. They are also accessible by the public on demands. The system also provides for grievance mechanisms whereby tax payers can actually question the amount they are requested to pay and have their demand notices changes eventually. These positive results encourage UNDP/UNCDF to extend the experience to two more LCs in 2013. TDC and MDC received support to establish their own systems. The process was completed in April 2014 for the 2 councils and first results are equally encouraging. Data available for TDC show that a total of 8,182 properties and businesses have been identified (70% of the estimated taxable assets of the district) with and expected revenue of Le 220,780,405 for 2014. In May, Le 11, 613,000 were collected (5,06% of the total expected) in Magburaka city only. However, the valuation officer is facing some limitation in terms of logistics (lap top and motor-bike) for filed activities). The impact of the Fiscal Cadastre system on LCs’ own revenue mobilization has prompted the Government of Sierra to request more support from UNDP/UNCDF to establish the system country-wide. UNDP/UNCDF thus supported the development and dissemination of a national training manual for the fiscal cadastre. Copies were printed and disseminated to all LCs.