Journal of Property Tax Assessment & Administration


A value-based recurrent property tax is levied in most African countries. However, its revenue performance is generally weak, which is largely a reflection of poor policy choices and ineffective and inefficient administration. Because of the lack of political support and administrative capacity of local and/or national government, poor tax-base coverage and poor assessment result in inequitable systems with inadequate revenue streams. This paper argues that simplified approaches to valuation could result in improved base coverage, a more equitable distribution of the tax burden, and, importantly, enhanced revenue. However, political and taxpayer acceptability of a more easily understood, simplified approach to valuation must also acknowledge the culture of a lack of trust and compliance in many, if not most, African countries.

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Property tax administration; Property tax policy


This paper is based on a research paper titled “Alternative Approaches to Value-based Property Tax in Africa: An Exploratory View of Self-Assessment,” which was presented at the African Research Tax Network, The Seychelles, September 5–7, 2016.