[GHANA] Project TREE to facilitate e-Billing and e-Payment of property rates

By
Alice Tettey, GNA

Cape Coast, Dec.7,
GNA – The Government’s vision to automate all state institutions was given a
major boost with the distribution of 32 computers to 16 of the 33 selected
Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies participating in the Tax
Revenue for Economic Enhancement () .

The four-year
project being carried out in the Central, Western and Ashanti Regions involved
data collection on properties for effective billing, which is near completion.

It will be followed
by the deployment of a new tax management software model that will
electronically bill owners by text messages for them to make e-payment
of taxes and bills through mobile money transfers.

The purpose is to as
much as possible eliminate the human contact in revenue payment, which is most
often characterized by corrupt practices to help boost the internally generated
funds of the Assemblies with the ultimate aim of bringing fiscal decentralization
to their localities.

The project, also
seeks to build the capacity of the revenue staff on the new tax management
software, which when successful will be replicated in all MMDAs across the
country.

Handing over the
computers to the Central Regional Minister, Mr. Kwamena Duncan at a short
ceremony in Cape Coast, Mr. Bless Kwame Darkey, TREE Project Coordinator was
optimistic that digitization of revenue collection would help block leakages
and stimulate the performance of the MMDAs.

He explained that
the project was focusing on property because there was a huge tax gap in
that area that needed to be bridged to significantly step up internally
generated funds to enable the Assemblies undertake development projects to
enhance the economic wellbeing of the people.

Mr Kwamena Duncan
described the model as timely in view of the fact that it fell in line with the
national digitization agenda and since mobilizing internally generated funds
was a challenge of MMDAs, hooking the selected Assemblies on will be a major
breakthrough for revenue generation.

He urged the
Assemblies to embrace the TREE to rake in the needed revenue in their quest to
provide the much desired development to their people.

The Communication
Expert of the Project, Mr. Philip Dornyo, said the model will focus on property
rates, business operating permits and building permits and that it has a
central monitoring point, which helps to detect and check all lapses on the
field to eliminate fraudulent deals.

The TREE is being
implemented in partnership with the Ministry of Local Government and Rural
Development, the Fiscal Decentralisation Unit of the Finance Ministry and the
Office of the Head of Local Government Service.

GNA

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