The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) has engaged Presiding Members (PM) of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies on a new framework for collecting property rate on behalf of the Assemblies.
The collection, which used to be done by the Assemblies, will now be done by the GRA through a platform called myassembly.gov.gh.com, which aims at eliminating human barriers in the collection of revenue. Mr Joshua Tossler, Head of Operations for myassebmly.gov.gh.com (GRA), said the old framework required the Assemblies to bring a paper bill to property owners to receive the revenue, but the new one expected property owners to register and access the property rate bill on the institution’s website and pay the required fees electronically.
Mr Tossler said: ‘In the past when people paid cash to the Assemblies, they were issued with a paper receipt, but now, once you access your bill on myassembly.gov.gh platform and you see how much you are to pay, you initiate the payment process, which goes through the payment gateway ghana.gov, the receiver.’
He said the receiver would notify myassembly.gov.gh platform, the platform would notify the Controller and Accountant General and they will now issue an electronic receipt to the rate payer directly.
‘There’s no situation where one person keeps the money that has been paid and no entity also holds the money. Once payment is made, a receipt is issued by the Controller and Accountant General and 70 per cent of the payment goes directly into the Assembly’s account,’ Mr Tossler said.
Some Presiding Members raised concerns over centralisation of the collection of revenue, lack of consultation and breach of Act 936 of the Local Government Act.
Mr. Frank Yeboah, Presiding Member for Agona West said the new framework undermined the very existence of the local assemblies because revenue collection formed part of their core duties.
He asked that GRA together and myassembly.gov.gh.com to organise a meeting with all the relevant stakeholders and explain how the new framework would work to clear up all doubts.
Mr, Alfred Asiedu Agyei, Presiding Member for Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) said between 2021 and 2022, AMA collected property rate to the tune of GhS 2.4 million cedis and GhS 3.5 million cedis respectively.
He said, however, the myassembly.gov.gh.com platform had only given the AMA 326,000 from January to September 2023, less than 10 per cent of what the Assembly received in the previous year.
The PM said the collection of property rates was the responsibility of the Assemblies and questioned where GRA derived its authority from to collect revenue on behalf of the Assemblies.
Source: Ghana News Agency