The Chairman of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Local Government and Rural Development, Mr Kennedy Osei Nyarko, has underscored the need for Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) to get a comprehensive data system to aid in the collection of revenue.
He said the collection of taxes from people by the assembly would only work well when there was a comprehensive data on the taxable people to pay tax in the communities.
"You can only improve on revenue collection when you have accurate information on taxable people. That revenue can be used to start development projects while waiting for external sources of income," he stated.
Mr Nyarko was adressing officers from MMDAs at Asebu last Tuesday while on a working visit to the Central Region. He urged the assmblies to properly utilise funds they generated internally.
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Internally generated fund
Mr Nyarko indicated that when internally generated funds are used for development purposes, the people were encouraged to pay their taxes.
"Spend money on capital development projects in the district. Use internally generated funds to undertake projects that will encourage taxpayers to meet their obligation because when they see the projects coming up they will pay their taxes," he said.
Mr Nyarko, who is also the Deputy Minister of Agriculture, advised MMDAs to set up systems that would ensure that public servants who lived in government bungalows paid rent.
"Living in government property is not for free. The properties need to be maintained and the rents collected are used to maintain the houses so they area always in good condition," he stressed.
A Ranking Member of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Local Government and Rural Development, Nii Lantey Vandeyrpuije, who is also a Member of Parliament (MP) for the Odododiodio Constituency, said MMDAs should privatise assembly-owned public toilets.
He noted that such a move would help tackle instances of having political party activists taking over the facilities without paying anything to the assemblies.
The District Chief Executive (DCE) for Abura-Asebu-Kwamamkese, Mrs Aba Hagan, said the assemblies were committed to improving revenue collection in their various districts.
She noted that actions were underway to implement strategies that would reduce over-reliance on external funding.
"An action plan for improving revenue collection in the 2018 fiscal year has been assessed and there is action already underway to have the strategies that have been outlined implemented,"she stated.