Taxing property owners in Dakar

Policy brief Cities

  • Property taxes in the region of Dakar offer a huge potential for local revenue mobilisation, which remains mostly untapped
  • Baseline results show that only an estimated 20% of plots are on the tax roll (administrative data), 12% of owners paid the property tax in 2018, and tax payments do not exceed 20% of theoretical tax revenues (survey data)
  • The authors partnered with the national tax administration to develop and implement a modernised property tax management system, which is being rolled-out through a Randomised Control Trial (RCT) in the region of Dakar. The system can be extended to other areas of the country after the experimentation phase.
  • The programme includes a comprehensive fiscal census, carried out using a new application allowing to automatise data collection in the field, the computation of tax liabilities, and the production of tax notifications. All this is done based on digitised cadastral and address information, to ease the census, tax notification distribution and enforcement processes.
  • The application also allows to test a semi-automatised mass valuation method to assess property values.
  • The programme involves a stronger cooperation between the national tax administration, in charge of tax assessment and emission of tax notices, the national treasury, in charge of the distribution of tax notices and the collection of payments, and municipalities, the beneficiaries of these tax revenues, also in charge of sensitising taxpayers and assisting in the identification of property owners.
  • The roll-out is currently ongoing and will last at least until December 2019.