The Accra Metropolitan Assembly's (AMA) fees and rates on properties would go up by 10 per cent with effect from 2010.
According to Dr. Alfred Okoe Vanderpuije, Chief Executive Officer of AMA, the increase was due to inflation, anticipated increase in salaries and cost of provision of services among other things.
Addressing property owners on Wednesday, he said by raising fees, the Assembly would be able to effectively undertake its activities since it was one of the Assembly's best means of generating funds internally. "Unlike external funds, there are no strings attached in deciding how to use this source of revenue; it is the only fund over which we can fully exercise our authority to achieve our goals," he added.
He said details of the increase would be discussed at a meeting which would be held between the Assembly and trade associations later. He said last year, the Assembly was able to collect GH˘30,354,666.25 as against a projection of GH˘43,194,065.23 which represented about 70 per cent of estimated revenue.
The AMA boss said the Assembly needed money to sustain its decongestion exercise, build new markets, implement its waste to energy programme, build new libraries and maintain lorry parks.
"We will also need money to build more schools thereby putting a stop to this shift system being run by some 136 schools in the metropolis and also end the 'Lavender Hill' situation (euphemism for bad odour) with respect to liquid waste disposal," he added.
Dr. Vanderpuije expressed worry about the unsanitary condition in some parts of the metropolis adding that for last year, the Assembly spent 59 per cent of its total revenue on sanitation.
He cited fraudulent practices by some revenue collectors, refusal of rate payers to honour their tax obligations, poor awareness creation on tax payment and non-prosecution of tax defaulters as some of the reasons that hindered revenue generation by the Assembly. He promised that the Assembly would put in place all the necessary measures to ensure that all the leakages in tax collection were sealed. The AMA boss said the Assembly would soon ensure that building permits were approved or rejected within three months of application and urged those building without permit to stop.
He called for an increase in the GH˘50 default fees in order to serve as a deterrent to the practice.
Mr. Desmond Biney, Presiding Member of the Assembly, urged all property owners to honour their tax obligations on time for the Assembly to fully finance its activities.
In an open forum, property owners called for the demolition of all illegal structures, fines for littering and a halt to the conversion of verandas into Day Care centers.
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