Finance and Development Planning Minister Boima Kamara has called on fellow officials of government to set positive examples by paying their real estate taxes to enable the government to implement policies to benefit the country.
Minister Kamara made the statement on Monday, March 20, at the launch of the Real Estate Community Partnership Project at the edifice of the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA) in Paynesville.
Kamara observed that many people, including government officials, under-declare the worth or value of their real estate and as a result pay below the required taxes for their properties to the government.
Undervaluing properties, he said, is a way of cheating the government and urged Liberian property owners to be honest and fair when declaring their real estate properties to the government.
Minister Kamara said, “As international support dwindles to the country, we as a government must initiate programs to boost revenue collection, engage in smart spending and shut the door to corruption of public finances, and rally collectively to ensure that corruption has no place in our national lives.”
He said the Liberia Revenue Authority’s Domestic Resource Mobilization Project is a process that reinforces the position that the government is the people, who have the obligation to formulate laws and policies that will include their ultimate wellbeing.
“Enhancing domestic resource mobilization in Liberia is not just necessary but rather an imperative to achieve a sustainable development goal as well as to sustain infrastructural and economic developments that have greater reliance on domestic resources,” he added.
Minister Kamara said international development partners cannot and will not continue to infinitely do for Liberians what Liberians are capable of doing for themselves.
“Against this backdrop, we must find a viable and achievable mechanism to achieve and sustain our national priorities, one of which is this noble community partnership [that] LRA Commissioner General Tamba has established with communities,” Minister Kamara noted.
He indicated that domestic resource mobilization is one excellent way to proceed with Liberia’s development, noting, “Building roads, providing quality education and healthcare for our brothers and sisters in this country rest with us as a people. We cannot put the government in isolation, but we make the government.”
He said that it is the responsibility of the government to ensure that every dime that taxpayers pay is used properly.
“The partnership between MFDP and LRA is on a sound footing, and that is manifested by my presence here today in the midst of competing demands of where I must be,” he said.
Also speaking, Montserrado County District #4 Representative Henry B. Fahnbulleh alluded to Minister Kamara’s tax compliance advice and said there is a need for government officials to pay their taxes so people will be encouraged and convinced when the law is enforced.