In an effort to strengthen the Neighborhood Democratic Councils (NDCs) and municipalities revenue assessment, the government is expected to explore the possibility of conducting a country-wide valuation exercise slated for 2018.
This was revealed on Monday evening by Minister of Finance Winston Jordan during the 2018 budget presentation, at the National Assembly.
The minister said that the exercise aims to bring all property values up to date, which will allow the NDCs and municipalities to become better-equipped to deliver and maintain quality public service to their constituents.
This will also help to facilitate socio-economic development within their respective areas.
Minister Jordan explained that the efforts being made will ensure the stability and self-sufficiency of the Local Democratic Organs (LDOs), thereby reducing their dependence on subventions from central government, as their primary source of revenue to effectively carry out their mandate.
It was noted that revenue for the LDOs comes from rates applied to properties valued under a regime system that dates back to the 1970s.
The government has expressed its dissatisfaction with the national valuation system noting that it shows an extended neglect of the local government system. This has led to the recognition of the importance of restoring the effectiveness of the Valuation Department, to provide support to the councils and to modernise the system for property evaluation.
Earlier this year, the Ministry of Finance signed the “Fiscal Management Modernisation Project” that is designed to create greater efficiency in Guyana’s revenue administration. It will envelop a strategic organisational structure and strengthen institutional and technical capacities of human and other resources of the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA). It will also undertake an assessment of the property tax collection system administrated by the Valuation Division of the Ministry of Finance. (DPI)