Local Government Revenue Initiative Library

Amidst rapid urbanisation, cities in the Global South face major revenue needs in order to meet urgent spending priorities and to build the foundation for stronger local social contracts. Yet in practice, local government revenue raising efforts – and property taxes in particular – are frequently ineffective, inequitable and unaccountable.

The Local Government Revenue Initiative (LoGRI) aims to develop policy relevant research, knowledge, expertise, and tools to support governments to raise more local government revenue, more equitably and fairly, and in ways that promote trust, transparency, and accountability.

The LoGRI program is based at the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy at the University of Toronto and expands the previous work of the African Property Tax Initiative (APTI). It is supported by funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the French Ministry of Economics, Finance and Recovery, the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad) and German Development Cooperation implemented by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH.

This library is intended to be of use to LoGRI stakeholders, with resources on the Initiative’s key themes.

Image credit: Kampala city center | Lauren Parnell Marino | Flickr | CC BY NC 2.0

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Showing 11-20 of 94 results

  • Using satellite imagery to revolutionize creation of tax maps and local revenue collection

    World Bank Publications, 2018
    The technical complexity of ensuring that tax rolls are complete and valuations current is often perceived as a major barrier to bringing in more property tax revenues in developing countries. This paper shows how high-resolution satellite imagery makes it possible to assess the completeness of existing tax maps by estimating built-up areas based on building heights and footprints. Together with information on sales prices from the land registry, targeted surveys, and routine statistical data, this makes it possible to use mass valuation procedures to generate tax maps....
  • Using satellite imagery to revolutionize creation of tax maps and local revenue collection

    World Bank Publications, 2018
    The technical complexity of ensuring that tax rolls are complete and valuations current is often perceived as a major barrier to bringing in more property tax revenues in developing countries. This paper shows how high-resolution satellite imagery makes it possible to assess the completeness of existing tax maps by estimating built-up areas based on building heights and footprints. Together with information on sales prices from the land registry, targeted surveys, and routine statistical data, this makes it possible to use mass valuation procedures to generate tax maps....
  • Reforming property tax in developing countries: A new approach

    Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, 2008
    This paper proposes a different paradigm for property tax reform in developing countries. The unified property tax outline here would bring together and restructure the traditional urban property tax, property transfer and various forms of land increment taxes, and could generate enough revenue to justify the significant administrative costs involved. ...
  • Urban infrastructure in Sub-Saharan Africa – harnessing land values, housing and transport

    African Centre for Cities, 2015
    In the coming decades, Sub-Saharan Africa is projected to experience ongoing and increasing population growth, economic growth and urbanisation, with consequent pressures on demand for land, housing, infrastructure and services. In this context the demand for infrastructure will grow rapidly with the region already experiencing a large gap between finance needed to provide the necessary infrastructure and what is available....
  • Land valuation in support of responsible land consolidation on Ghana’s rural customary lands

    Taylor and Francis Group, 2018
    In this paper, we develop a framework for an approach that assigns values to customary rural farmland parcels based on the local people’s view of land value to support land consolidation. In a case study of Nanton, Ghana, key land value factors were identified and weighted by the local community. The weights were integrated into the framework that produced a Land Value Index for each farmland parcel. Though the strength of the approach is found in scenario and sensitivity analyses....
  • Property taxes: Exploring the untapped potential for the city of Hargeisa

    International Growth Centre, 2019
    Hargeisa, the capital of Somaliland, is a rapidly growing city. It is the largest city in a heavily decentralised political system. As a result of the system, the city is responsible for delivering a large number of services and investing in infrastructure. In the past years, the city government has made significant improvements in raising own-source revenues. However, at just over 8 million USD in the FY 2016, overall collection is still low and far from being sufficient to meet the growing needs of the city....
  • Using machine learning and remote sensing to value property in Rwanda

    International Growth Centre, 2020
    Property valuation models can achieve mass valuation transparently and cheaply. This paper develops a number of property valuation models for Kigali, Rwanda, and tests them on a unique dataset combining remote sensing data and infrastructure and amenities data for properties in Kigali, with sales transaction data for 2015. We use a machine learning approach, Minimum Redundancy Maximum Relevance, to select from 511 features those that minimise ten-fold cross validated Mean Absolute Error....
  • Reforming property tax valuation in Sierra Leone

    International Growth Centre, 2020
    Across sub-Saharan Africa, ineffective property valuation presents a serious hurdle to strengthening local property taxes. Between January and August 2019, the International Growth Centre (IGC) co-piloted a simplified approach to property valuation in Freetown, Sierra Leone, that combines both surface area and easily-observable characteristics to arrive at an estimate of market value. Several important lessons emerged from the pilot, both for the city-wide scale-up and for other jurisdictions interested in pursuing similar reforms....
  • Property taxes in Kampala: Some background information

    International Growth Centre, 2019
    Property rates, as collected by the Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA), are taxes on the rental or business income of property in the city of Kampala, Uganda that can be applied to commercial, institutional, and rented residential properties across the five urban divisions of the city. • Property rates make up a substantial proportion of the KCCAs own source revenues – in FY 2018/19, these taxes made up over 35% of own source revenues. However, there is significant room for improvement in collection....
  • Technology and property tax: Raising city revenue in Kampala

    International Growth Centre, 2020
    Property taxes are a hugely important potential source of revenue for cities. Faced with limited municipal revenues and rapidly growing populations, taxes on the value of land and property can offer a significant source of funding for cities to provide local services and to tap into financing for larger investments. Kampala, the capital city of Uganda, is no exception here – property taxes made up over 30% of the Kampala Capital City Authority’s (KCCA’s) own source revenues (OSRs) in 2018/19....

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