Fiscal decentrialisation and challenges of property tax mobilization: A case study of Bolgatanga Municipality


Decentralised municipal and district assemblies of Ghana have over the years usually not been able to wield the necessary financial muscle to provide essential goods and services for their constituents. Fiscal decentralization gives authority to the assemblies to impose taxes and levies in order to strengthen their financial base and to discharge their responsibilities efficiently and effectively. Yet, decentralized local governments have not been able to realize their tax targets through property tax. This paper seeks to investigate the key issues and challenges that confront the Bolgatanga Municipality Assembly in meeting its property tax revenue collection targets to finance social services such as roads, sanitation, health and electricity.  The purposiv e sampling method was used to select staff from th e Bolgatanga Municipal Ass embly, Lands Commission, rev enu e collectors and prop erty own ers. The results revealed a number of factors underpinning the Assembly’s ability to raise property tax revenue notable among which are failure to update valuation rolls, inadequate databases and logistics, fraudulent practices of revenue collectors, limited capacity, inadequate valuation practices poorly motivated staff, political interference.inadequate and inaccurate public address system and house numbers and the Assembly’s inability to prepare and maintain complete records on property rat e.To the management of the Bolgatanga Municipal Assembly, the study recommends mass public education on property revenue taxation, improve upon the preparation and maintenance of complete records, Prevent or minimize the incidence of revenue leakages, motivate employee to enable them carry out their duties diligently and honestly without thinking of ways to steal the organization, enhancing the capacity staff in rating valuation, protection of property taxation from political interference, enforcement of law against non-compliance, enforcement of legal action against defaulters, adjusting property taxes according to “ability to pay” as well as some exemption to the extremely poor rural dwellers


Keywords: Bolgatanga municipality, Challenges, fiscal decentrialisation, property tax mobilization


Article Review Status: Published

Pages: 15-27 (Download PDF)

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