…blames COVID-19 constraints on businesses
The Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) would be losing GH¢8 million, a quarter of its projected tax revenue of GH¢32 million for the year, due to the impact of the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) on businesses within the metropolis.
The assembly, was expecting to use part of the revenue generated to execute its projects but given the current situation, its projection has dropped to GH¢24 million.
The development, according to the Deputy Finance Officer of the assembly, Rev Samuel Opoku Amponsah, is anticipated to affect expenditure funded from the assembly’s Internally Generated Funds (IGF). He explained, for instance, that the daily collections made by the assembly could not be reslised during the lockdown period.
Against this backdrop, he said the assembly has put in place a taskforce to help undertake rigorous tax collection exercise, collect data and also help sensitize the public on voluntary tax compliance given the work done by KMA. He noted that part of the monies collected is used for the cleaning of the Central Business District CBD) and the various markets, as well as monies paid to run the landfill sites among others.
Rev. Opoku Amponsah also observed that the expenditure pattern of the assembly has also increased. He mentioned that part of the assembly’s monies has been spent on social interventions especially on COVID-19.
“COVID-19 demands that there are social interventions, and the assembly did its part,” he stated. He said they undertook COVID-19 support at the various health centers, market places, lorry parks, and some radio stations as well.
With increased expenditure but reduced revenues, he bemoaned the poor attitude of the public against payment of taxes. “Without the payment of taxes, we cannot support the development of the country. The assembly supports security, education, health developments among others of the local people,” he said.
Even though it is likely that the negative variance in tax projections will not be reversed by the last quarter boom in sales, the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly is optimistic that a property revaluation exercise could shore up its property tax proceeds.
The revenue contribution of KMA over the years has not been favourably. Last year, the Metropolis with all its brisk business activities, contributed a meagre 3 percent of the country’s tax revenues.
The Tax Justice Coalition, a civil society organisation with focus on tax mobilization and policing of Ghana’s tax regimes, insists Ghana has been laxed in rolling out innovative solutions in this critical area.
Its middle belt Zonal Coordinator, Christopher Dapaah, said there is the need to commence a vigorous deployment of practical digital technologies to monitor and facilitate tax collections.