The Central Bank of Liberia has reported in its Financial and Economic Bulletin for the period-July to September 2014, that the fiscal operations by the Government of Liberia during the third quarter, 2014, resulted in an overall balance (surplus) of L$678.2 million (0.4 percent of GDP), down from a surplus of L$2,186.2 million (1.3 percent) in the previous quarter.
Compared to the corresponding period in 2013, the surplus rose by L$237.9 million, from L$440.3 million (0.3 percent of GDP).
According to the CBL’s quarterly publication, the actual revenue and grants for the review quarter fell below budgetary target by L$360.5 million—from projected revenue and grants of L$10,356.8 million to realize revenue and grants of L$10,717.3 million.
The Bank said the public debt stock of Liberia rose to US$694.8 million (33.2 percent of GDP) at end-September, 2014, down from US$648.2 million (31. 0 percent of GDP) at end-June and US$603.5 million (30.5 million of GDP) at end-September,2013.
The CBL Financial and Economic Bulletin indicated that the total revenue and grants collected by government during the quarter amounted to L$10,717.3 million (6.3 percent of GDP). Matched against the level recorded in the previous quarter, it fell by L$2,343.9 million (17.9 percent) but grew by L$1,981.6 million (22.7 percent) when compared to the amount recorded in the corresponding period in 2013.
The underperformance in total revenue and grants during the review quarter against the preceding period was attributed to the Ebola-associated decline in economic activities which affected the fiscal operations relative to both tax and non-tax revenues.
However, compared to the budgetary projections, total revenue and grants rose by L$360.5 million (3.5 percent). The increase over the projected revenue and grants was largely on account of downward adjustment in revenue estimates for the quarter.
The CBL report further revealed that receipts from actual tax revenue during the quarter amounted to L$8,264.4 million (4.8 percent of GDP), which constituted 77.1 percent of total revenue and grants.
Compared with budgetary target for the quarter, it rose by 2.7 percent, but decline by 18.7 percent against the preceding quarter.
The shortfall in actual tax revenue collections during the review quarter was attributed to underperformance in international trade, income and profit, goods and services, and property and real estate taxes, CBL report indicated.
Receipts from non-tax revenue (including grants) amounted to L$2,452.9 million (1.4 percent of GDP), representing 22.9 percent of total revenue and grants’ receipts for the review quarter. Matched against its budgetary target, it grew by 6.1 percent (on account of increase in non-tax revenue from charges and other administrative fees), but shrink by 15.3 percent when compared to the preceding period.
The CBL report said: international trade taxes during the quarter amounted to L$3,332.3 million, L$337.8 million (11. 3percent) more than the budgetary target, and constituted 40.3 percent of actual tax revenue. Matched against the preceding quarter, it fell by 11.2 percent.
However, on a year-on-year basis; international trade taxes recorded an increase of 12.0 percent.
Income and profits taxes for the review quarter amounted to L$3,608.1 million, representing a 1.9 percent increase when matched against the budgetary forecast for the period, the report noted.
Compared with the preceding quarter, taxes on income and profits fell by L$879.1 million (19.6 percent) but grew by L$795.3 million (28.3 percent) against the amount recorded in the corresponding quarter. It also constituted 43.3 percent of tax revenue and total revenue and grants for the period, respectively.
Income and profits’ taxes on individuals and taxes payable by corporate entities amounted to L$2,714.1 million and L$867.3 million, respectively.
Sale Taxes on Goods and Services
Taxes on goods and services totaled L$788.8 million, 16.3 percent below budgetary target for the quarter under review. A quarter ago, and yearly comparisons showed that sale taxes on goods and services declined by L$1,026.0 million (56.5 percent) and L$222.6 million (22.0 percent), respectively.
Proportionally, taxes on goods and services constituted 9.5 percent of tax revenue and 7.4 percent of total revenue and grants, respectively.
Property and Real Estate Taxes
Taxes on property and real estate summed to L$50.2 million during the quarter, 36.0 percent lower than budgetary target of L$78.5 million. Compared with the amount recorded in the preceding quarter, it fell by 54.6 percent, from L$110.0 million.
Similarly, taxes on property and real estate declined by 4.2 percent compared with the amount recorded in the corresponding quarter in 2013. Proportionally, property and real estate taxes constituted 0.6 percent and 0.5 percent of tax revenue and total revenue and grants for the period, respectively.
Other Tax Revenue
Other tax revenue for the quarter amounted to L$485.0 million, 1.0 percent less than the expected budgetary target of L$489.9 million, but in excess of the amounts recorded in the previous and corresponding periods.
Non-tax revenue from grants during the quarter amounted to L$1,065.1 million, in excess of the amounts recorded in both the preceding and corresponding periods. When matched against the budgetary projection for the period, it declined by 6.9 percent.