Property owners, renters and occupants have been urged to make prompt payments of their property rates to avoid prosecution as their voluntary compliance period has elapsed.
The Local Governance Act, 2016 (Act 936) gives room for voluntary compliance within a 52-day moratorium which the owners are to pay at their own will.
The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) has rolled out a digital platform, myassembly.gov.gh that identifies properties and their owners across the 261 Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) and together with the Assemblies and other stakeholders mobilise revenue for the Assemblies without any human intervention.
Mr Ernest Adade, Head of Communications, in an interview with the Ghana News Agency, said: “I want the public to understand that these are voluntary payment periods. We have moved to the enforcement and actual payments and those who have not paid within the timeframe are liable for prosecution.”
He said letters were written to all premium rent payers, companies and organisations to inform the owners to pay their property rate while some owners were given text messages.
“They are defaulting payment. It’s not our aim that anybody should fall foul of the law. There’s a process to follow and If they need help, anybody can call the centre for assistance,” Mr Adade said.
He said anybody who provided false information, prevented somebody from registering or decided that he would not pay property rate was liable for prosecution.
The Head of Communication said nobody would go to homes and issue out bills for property rates, rather owners should go online and pay directly to the assembly electronically through mobile money transfer, bank card like your visa card or a banking app.
Any monies paid would go to Ghana.gov and it would within 12 hours aggregate all the monies and send 70 per cent directly into the Assemblies account whilst the other stakeholders share the 30 per cent and this would happen each day.
The only monies that may delayed would be cheques but anytime monies were paid electronically, it went to ghana.gov systems and the system informed the Controller and Accountant General about the payment for a receipt to be issued.
Mr Adade said the legal procedure used in transferring properties and change of ownership applied to the new property regime system.
Within three months of operation after integrating the system, the platform, myassembly.gov.gh, had accrued over GH¢20 million, an amount paid through voluntary compliance within the 52-day moratorium provided under the Local Governance Act, 2016 (Act 936).
The platform has so far identified over 10 million properties linked to about 15 million people across the country.