Working Paper

African Tax Administration Paper 4

How Local Authorities Can Exploit the Potential for Effective Property Taxes: A Case Study of Harare

Published on 11 October 2018

This paper explores administrative challenges that developing countries face in property tax administration. It is internationally acknowledged that local authorities play a vital role in enhancing a country’s economic growth and provision of public goods. Their activities rely on revenue collection. It is therefore in the public interest and the interest of all governments to support their activities.

The author identified that the main source of revenue for the City of Harare is property tax. Property tax has the potential to perform better given the boom in urban population. Despite the potential of property tax, it has not been able to generate more revenue because local authorities lack capacity and face a number of challenges.

This paper argues that, in addition to solutions intended to resolve the usual technical and political difficulties associated with property taxation, it is crucial for Harare to improve systems for property taxation. There is a need to invest in information technology, including the use of digital technology, electronic billing and payment systems.

The ICTD’s African Tax Administration Papers (ATAPs) are research papers that will be of specific interest to people working in tax administration in Africa. The purpose is to encourage and support useful, policy-oriented research by African professionals directly involved in tax administration.

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Nengeze, M. (2018) How Local Authorities Can Exploit the Potential for Effective Property Taxes: A Case Study of Harare, ATAP Working Paper 4, Brighton: IDS

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Munatswi Nengeze

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