Lagos: Land Use Charge And Economic Development

0
343
impeach ambode

The scope has also been expanded as the elements of property were broadened to include a building; any improvement on land; a parcel of land, whether or not reclaimed, waterlogged or otherwise; a wharf or pier; and leaseholds of up to 10 years. Thus, even that which is commonly called “a bare land” will now be charged an annual rate. This is partly designed to encourage the owners to develop such a property. The law provides a delineation of properties exempted from payment. Such properties like registered educational institutions and public or private libraries are now only exempted once they are certified by the commissioner to be non-profit making. Properties owned and occupied by a religious body will be exempt if used exclusively as a place of worship or religious education. If used otherwise, they become chargeable. Other exemptions include public cemeteries and burial grounds, all palaces of recognised Obas and Chiefs, and any property specifically exempted by the governor of Lagos State. Properties occupied by non-profit making organisations may get only partial relief and not complete exemptions The law also makes provision for self-billing and electronic payment of the land use charge by owners. This is an indication that the government is employing technology to make compliance much easier. To further ease the burden on citizens as well as incentivise prompt payments, reliefs have been included in the bill. Lagos State retirees will get 100 per cent relief (no charge) while factors like the age of a property owner, any physical challenges (or disability), and duration of residency may confer some partial relief. Prompt payments will confer some relief as well. In line with its pledge to carry stakeholders along, the government has kicked off an awareness campaign through multiple communication and media channels to enlighten the populace on the imperatives of taxation. In the mix include the print media, television and radio; the internet and social media as well as engagement with key influencers in the state. In this way, citizens will become fully aware of the details of the new land use charge, understand their obligations and act accordingly. The government is also publicising the process of paying the new land use charge. To achieve its ultimate goal, enforcement of the law must be vigorous. The incentives and reliefs embedded in the law clearly show that government intends to employ moral suasion. A successful enlightenment campaign will undoubtedly make enforcement much seamless. When citizens better understand the necessity of the charge and their roles in the scheme of things, it’s easier to get their buy in. Enforcement should be strict nonetheless and will require courteous displays of discipline, diligence and consistency on the part of the agencies of government that will pursue compliance to the provisions of the law. The previous effort through the land use charge law of 2001 was largely ineffective due to several factors. For one, the general attitude towards taxation has been fraught with indifference and suspicion of government. This is due in part to overreliance on funding from the Federal Government from the proceeds of crude oil sales and also a lack of transparency and accountability on the part of governments on the details of state expenditure. There was also very low public enlightenment on the importance and usefulness of the Lagos land use charge as well as the duties and responsibilities of the citizens. The responsibility of tenants versus property owners/landlords generated lots of conflicts, mainly due to ignorance. Enforcement of the policy by government also left a lot to be desired. Landowners continued to receive charges such as ground rent and tenement rate which were consolidated in the land use charge. This was coupled with the poor state of information on property ownership resulting in difficulties in administering charges to owners of properties. The Lagos State Government with its declared aspiration to become a megacity as well as grow the state’s economy to become Africa’s third largest faces a monumental task of creating an environment that can trigger the level of productivity required for this growth and development. However, it is a task the government has set itself to accomplish. To achieve this, the government, apart from shaping the context and institutional structure to create a favourable business environment, has also identified the need to close the huge infrastructure gap that exists in the state. The dearth of physical and social infrastructure has continued to make unattainable the level of productivity required to achieve sustainable growth and development. It is in this regard that the Lagos State Government is overhauling the tax regime in the state to enthrone efficient taxation as a major revenue source to fund infrastructure development among other initiatives. Add 0802 739 7554 To Receive SKYTREND NEWS Alerts On WhatsApp; For Adverts Enquiries, Whatsapp 0802 739 7554, Send Articles & News Stories To editor@skytrendnews.com. Punch READ ALSO! 14-Year-Old Pregnant Housemaid Dislodges Her Childless Madam, Says I Can’t Share Husband With You READ ALSO! SHOCKING, ALARMING: Nigerian FRSC Official Engages Woman In Serious Physical Combat (VIDEO) READ ALSO! How I Stopped Obasanjo From Becoming Nigerian Version Of Mugabe — Atiku READ ALSO! I’m Happy Leaving My Husband, Nine Children For New Lover — Housewife After 23 Years Of Marriage READ ALSO! The Smart CEO: Top 5 Websites To Get Cheap Domain Name Registration READ ALSO! First Bank’s Appalling Customer Service And Utter Disregard For Its Customers READ ALSO! Between GoDaddy And Namecheap: Making The Best Choice For Domain Name Registrar READ ALSO! Nigerian Filmmaker, Zuriel Oduwole Makes Forbes List Of 100 Most Influential African Women READ ALSO! Woman Marries Her Son After Getting Pregnant For Him ]]>