Real property taxation in Tanzania an investigation on implementation and taxpayer perceptions

University dissertation from Stockholm : KTH

Abstract: Many urban local authorities in developing countries are failing to cope with the increasing demand for urban infrastructure and other social services resulting from urbanisation. Insufficient locally generated finance is one among the reasons accounting for this failure. Real property tax is often identified as a major source of local government finance that has the potential to contribute substantially to locally raised revenue. This thesis reports on results of a study whose aim was to map out and examine property taxation practice in Tanzania.The thesis thus reports on the examination of property tax administration in Ilala, Kinondoni and Temeke Municipal Councils in Dar es Salaam. The study analyses the processes of property identification, valuation and the collection of property tax revenue. This is the better way to illustrate how property taxation is practiced. From the property taxpayer’s point of view the study explores property owners perceptions of property tax. Property owners’ views were collected from Magomeni, Sinza, Mbezi Beach, Manzese, Kimara and Makongo Juu settlements in Dar es Salaam.Study findings reveal that property tax generate very low levels of revenue when measured against the potential. This is a result of inadequacies in administration of the tax. Property tax coverage is low as large proportions of the property tax base are not valued and less revenue is collected from rateable properties captured in the property tax database. The study further observes inadequacies of non-supportive relationship among the key actors in property taxation. Property taxpayers express resistance to paying their tax bills on account of receiving little benefit or none in return for the taxes they pay. The observed deficiencies with the property taxation practice call for the urgent attention of the relevant municipal authorities if the property tax is to achieve the full potential.