The Bolgatanga Municipal Assembly in the Upper East Region has put in place pragmatic measures to widen the tax net and address leakages to increase revenue mobilization for development.
The Assembly, determined to rake in at least GH₵3 million Internally Generated Funds (IGF) at the end of 2022, has put in place a decongestion task force and revenue mobilization force to open up the Bolgatanga Central Market and identify taxable businesses operating in the Municipality.
“When I came in last year and at the end of last year, I was told that the total internally generated revenue was about GH₵1.2 million but our Assembly should be doing between GH₵2.5 to GH₵3 million in a year,” Mr. Rex Asanga, Municipal Chief Executive of the Assembly told Ghana News Agency in an interview
The measures, he added, would well position the Assembly to collect the necessary revenue from people who are supposed to pay and block leakages.
Mr. Asanga noted that the Assembly could no longer rely on the insufficient and irregular flow of the District Assembly Common Fund to finance its numerous developmental needs and reiterated the resolve to rope in all tax-paying entities to improve upon mobilization.
He said apart from relocating the butchers to the new GH₵1.2 million abattoir at Yorogo, a suburb of Bolgatanga, the grain traders were also moved from the new market to the old market to create space for people to engage in economic ventures.
He said apart from the empty stores at the old market which would be occupied by some of the traders, plans were advanced to construct sheds to move the vegetable traders to the market as well.
“The revenue mobilization task force has trained enumerators who would go round identifying all businesses, types of businesses, and their locations within the Municipality to ascertain how much they pay and whether they are even registered.
Mr. Asanga who bemoaned the failure of the Assembly over the years to implement a business-like approach to tax all businesses, especially foreigners operating within the Municipality, revealed through recent snap checks conducted some Indians and Chinese who were exporting donkey hides to China but had not properly been registered businesses were accosted.
“We went out one day and we were able to identify about 10 businesses owned and operated by foreigners who had registered with the Assembly, no business registration and they are not paying anything.
“We have accosted some of them and they have come to pay some money to the Assembly but there are a lot more that we will be going after,” he reiterated.
The MCE noted that as part of efforts to address revenue leakages, non-performing revenue collectors at the collection points would be reshuffled or replaced to fish out people who cheat taxpayers and embezzle collected revenue.