Land tax

February 2011
Joseph Comby (Land Tenure and Development Technical Committee)

Land tax has long been neglected in West Africa and is regarded as a taboo subject. Yet contrary to received wisdom it is possible to introduce a basic annual land tax without a land register or a computerized system. While certain precautions need to be taken, it not only generates revenue for the locality but also discourages the unproductive retention of unused land, and in the long term helps secure the land rights of producers or residents by proving written proof of their occupancy.