Fact of the Week: Property Tax Revenue in the Tanzanian City of Arusha has Grown 23 Percent Faster Than Other Local Taxes Since the Introduction of an ICT-based Collection System

Caleb Foote June 24, 2019
June 24, 2019

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Source: William McCluskey et al., “The Role of Information Communication Technology to Enhance Property Tax Revenue in Africa: A Tale of Four Cities in Three Countries,” International Centre for Tax and Development, ICTD Working Paper 88, November 2018.

Commentary: Property taxes are very data intensive, requiring extensive records and analysis to accurately assess property values and levy taxes accordingly. This makes property taxes particularly difficult to apply in developing countries, especially because property taxes tend to be implemented by local governments. The Tanzanian government, in coordination with the World Bank, has developed an ICT-based property tax system that allows local governments to digitize records, automate billing, and facilitate consistent property evaluations. In the three years since its introduction in 2013, the pilot city of Arusha has seen its property tax revenue grow by 38 percent annually—which is 23 percent faster than other local taxes. These numbers are particularly promising given the time needed to train workers and integrate the system, which is exemplified by the fact that property taxes grew at more than twice the rate of other taxes in the final year of the pilot program.