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How A Property Rate Bill Is Computed In Accra, Ghana

Property tax in Ghana is known as property rate. It is administered by the Metropolitan, Municipal or District Assembly. A property rate is the amount of money in cedis the Metropolitan or Municipal Assembly charges on your property each year. It is the product of the value of your property and a rate impost.

On the face of a bill, there are general information and information specific to a given property. General information comprises the name and logo of the Metropolitan or Municipal Assembly issuing the bill, the period for which the bill is issued and the date of issue. Sometimes further directions to rate payers are printed on the bill.

Now, I’ll enumerate and explain the property-specific information below. There are several interrelated values on the face of a property rate bill. I’ll explain them as follows:

Rateable value is the value of the property, certified by the Land Valuation Board. (How it is computed shall be the subject of another article).

Rate impost (expressed in decimals) is the percentage rate charged on a property’s value. The rate applied to a property is influenced by certain factors. First is the classification of the zone in which the property is situated. The rating authorities zone the city into first, second and third classes, based on certain socio-economic considerations such as existing amenities. Another factor that determines a rate impost is the purpose for which the property is used: that includes, (but not limited) to residential, commercial, industrial or mixed use. There are subdivisions of these classes in some cities, for example Accra.

Current charge is the amount in cedis charged as rate on a given property for the year which a particular bill relates to. Usually, it is the product of the rateable value and the rate impost.

But minimum a charge is set for each rating zone, so that even where the product of the rateable value and the rate impost is less than that minimum charge, the minimum charge applies to the property for the given year.

Arrears are any unpaid amounts from previous bills.

Payment is the total of payments that have been made on the bill of the preceding year.

Amount due is how much must be paid as property rate in a given year. It is the sum of the current charge and the arrears, less payments for the preceding bill.

Account number or index number or valuation number: It is a unique identification number assigned a given property. The number sometimes serves as reference to the exact location of the property.

Owner’s name: the owner’s name may be that of an individual, a couple or a group. It can also be the name of an institution.

Address is the common address to the location of a property. It can be a combination of a street name and a number for example, #3 Lanone Express street; or a combination of a block number and a property number, for example B21/7.

Property Use code or purpose: it is tells the purpose for which the property is used.

That’s all for now. I hope this brief explanation helps you to understand how your property rate is computed. I’ll be glad to read your comments and answer your questions.

58 thoughts on “How A Property Rate Bill Is Computed In Accra, Ghana

  1. I live in Ho. Is it relevant for me to pay this property rate? And does the money actually go into the government coffers? Meanwhile, where do i pay if it’s necesary?

    1. Jenny, you are obliged by law to pay if you own a property; and the money is meant for providing services for you, residents of the municipality/area. You can pay at the Ho Municipal Assembly office. Go to the head of Budget and Rating, and demand your bill and pay.

  2. George,
    Any idea how this applies to official building? Are ratable value and the rate impost determined in the same way as they are for residential buildings?

    1. Generally, the principles are the same, Paul. But does “official” mean the state, or private institution? Different rate imposts usually apply for state buildings from private types. Residential buildings attract the lowest rates.

  3. George,
    Thanks very much for replying. I am actually referring to private office buildings. Do you know where I can go to find the rate imposts for these kinds of building?

    1. You have to get a copy of the Local Government Bulletin No.1 from the Ghana Publishing Co./Assembly Press, near Novotel.

  4. I appreciate this blog, because all information which is provided in this blog by you is very nice and useful for that buyer who wants to buy property in Ghana.

  5. Please I live on a piece of land with my family in Koforidua in the New juaben Constituency in the Eastern Region. The piece of land has three structures on it. One self-contained apartment and one boys quarters, both structures for residential use and occupied by the family members, and a store in front of the house for commercial use — a saloon and provision store — also owned by a member of the family who lives in the same house. In this case how will our property rate gonna be calculated? Is is gonna be per units or structures on the the land and how the structures are used for? please kindly advise me on this situation, Thank you.

    1. The property you’ve described here is a mixed use property, Anthony. The presence of a salon and a shop has changed the status of the property from residential to mixed. So a mixed use rate for your zone would apply to your property.
      However, the separate units may be rated as separate properties if those units are owned by different persons, each with due legal title to [his/her] property.

  6. Good morning George,
    I have a commercial property in Labone, (near Churcheese, GT Bank etc)and was wondering if you could give me the property rate for this area. Also, what happens if you don’t pay your property tax?

    Thanks

    1. Bobby, I’m unable to tell how much your property rate is, because I don’t know the value of your property. But I can tell you the rate impost for a commercial property in Labone is about 0.0054, for 2013. You multiply the value of your property by that and you get a fair idea how much you have to pay.
      However, if the La Dade-Kotopon Municipal Assembly hasn’t an approved rateable value of the property, they may give you a provisional rate to pay.
      Now when you don’t pay, the Local Government Act (Act 462), sections 104 — 106 directs the Assembly to post a demand notice on your property. They may apply to a Court of Law, for an order for the sale of the property to defray the amount of property rate due them.

    1. Elison, you are are entitled to a responsive, transparent and accountable local governance; well planned communities; safe and secure neighbourhoods; efficient municipal services; good roads; clean drains; schools; etc. You should demand them from your Assembly member.

  7. I live in Galilea (Kasoa). In 2013, the property rate the municipality brought us was 30 cedis. This year it shot up to 120 cedis…I know this property rate is paid yearly so the increase this year is really outrageous.

    1. Yes, Leslie, that’s a very big jump from GHC30 to GHC150. I presume you didn’t ask the Municipal officers for explanation. There are several reasons for increases like yours. Has there been any extensions or change in type of use of the property you’re referring to?

  8. Hello George, Thanks for the good work you are doing. I’m currently undertaking a project on valuation of properties in one of the Districts in Brong Ahafo Region. Can you please get me some materials? You can e-mail them to …
    Thanks

  9. if the property is used for social activities like a community clinic and training centre to train the less privileged girls, all free of charge, do you still have to pay property rate?

  10. Hello George, we really appreciate the good work you are doing. Please I would like to know the following… 1. How will a building containing 4 apartments be classified? I am assuming Residential? 2. How will one define the A and C Mall area in the Residential Classification? East Legon or East Legon extension? I would appreciate all the assistance. Thank You

    1. Theresa, 1. First, assuming all four apartments are owned by one person, and rated as one property, and are used as homes or living places they are classified as a residential property; where some of the apartments are used as offices, the unit will be classified a mixed property.
      Secondly, assuming that each of the four apartments is owned by a different person, each unit will be rated residential, mixed or commercial, determined by the nature of use for the property.
      2. The A&C Mall area is defined known as East Legon Ambassadorial Enclave and is defined in the AMA Fee-fixing Resolution as Residential Class 1A (first class residential area)

  11. Hello George, The Boundary Road in East Legon, from the Police station towards the American Int. School, falls under which Rating Zone?

  12. Hi George,
    I rent a two bedroom apartment in Madina. Is it my responsibility to pay the property rate or the house owner.
    Thanks.
    Nana Yaw

    1. Nana Yaw, Article 96(3), of Act 462, the Local Government Act 1993, the Law which regulates property rates, says that a general rate [in this case property rate] may be (a) a rate payable by the owner of the premises within the district on the rateable value of the premises… So, the law says the owner of the property is responsible for the payment of property rates.
      But the property rate is a charge on the premises, not on the person of the landlord; so for good reasons, some landlords may make agreements with their tenants that they[tenants] pay the property rates.

  13. I’m Raphael. My problem is about the mixed property. Does it mean I will no longer be paying business operating permit as soon as my property is being valued as mixed use?.

  14. Hi George,
    In computing property rate, is the content of the house part of the factors to be considered in arriving at the Rate?
    thanks.

    SAM

  15. Hi, Geo, do I have to pay property tax on a roofed but uncompleted two bedroom. Just moved in about two months ago because there was no where else I could go.

  16. Hello George, I bought a piece of land that has already been registered and took it to lands in Sekondi to do a change of ownership. I am being asked to provide property rate and tax clearance. Do I need to pay tax on a piece of land?

  17. Hi George, i own a residential property in teshie nungua but i used to run a small nursery in my garage. i have however closed down the school for quite a while now. how do i get them to change the rate impost. thank you

    1. Hello Edna, write to the Municipal Coordinating Director and copy the Municipal Budget Officer at LEKMA. State your case as you’ve shown in your comment here, and request for a reclassification of your property to ‘residential use’. Remember to state your valuation number or account number: you’ll find it at the top of your property rate bill. Your claim would be verified and the change effected. Please write now so that you’ll get the change early.

  18. Thanks George on the write up about Property Rates. MMDAs should be more transparent and customer focused in this regard to improve property rate payments.

  19. George I am An elected Assemblyman for my electoral area. My people lack basic social amenities such as Sanitation areas. But the assembly takes rates from these same people. I have started an advocacy campaign dubbed purely decentralized or Yentua against the authority in charge.
    What’s your view as a technocrat?

    1. Congratulations on your election as Assembly-member. You would go against the law when you organise your people in your “Yentua” campaign against the local authority. You may be obstructing the local authority carrying out it’s legitimate function of collecting rates from it’s constituents.
      You can use your advocacy initiative to educate your people on their rights and about the assembly’s obligations towards them as constituents and ratepayers. Then, you, as their elected representative in the Assembly, must demand everything that’s due your community.

  20. what is the money used for? If I bought the land with my money and built my own house why should I pay property rate? lets not copy blindly

    1. Thanks for your comments. Indeed, Labone Express encourages all colours, shades and tints of opinions

  21. Dear George,

    Do property rates apply to Non Profit Making Organizations the seeks welfare of society like…Churches, Private Rehabilitation centers, etc

    1. Innocent, Charitable organisations and premises used exclusively for public worship are some of those properties that Section 99 of the Local Government Act, (1993) Act 462 exempts from property rates charges.

  22. Dear George,
    Please, what can I do if I think my property rate is excessively high?
    And what actions can a property rate collector take against me if I refuse to pay my rate?

    1. First, you shouldn’t just think your property rate is too high; you should have, also, sound basis for that claim. Then you may go on with the action provided under Section 103 (3) of the Local Government Act, 1993 [Act 462], that is: “A person aggrieved by a valuation of the valuation authority or the valuer under subsection (8) of section 96 or by a rate imposed on the premises of that person by a rating authority may apply for a review to the rate assessment committee.”
      Should you refuse to pay your property rate within times stipulated, a Collector may notify the District Assembly of your refusal, and legal proceedings will be taken for the sale of that property for the purposes of defraying the amount.

  23. Hello George,
    Please is property rate paid on a property which is habited by the owner? And ff I live in an uncompleted building in a place where there are no lights, water and access roads, do I need to pay the property rate?

    Thanks,

    Kwame

    1. Dear Mr Kraikue, Thank you for reading my post and for your comment. The answer to your first question is, Yes, property owners must pay property rates whether they live in it or other people live in it.
      2. Yes, according to the law, Act 462, premises rateable are those comprising buildings or structures or similar development… That law in Section 96 says that: (a) the expression “development” includes any kind of work or improvement carried out on or in a land and in particular foundations, excavations, drainage systems, and pathways, aprons and any other prepared surfaces;
      So please once your property is duly assessed or issued a provisional rate, you have to pay. The rates take into account the nature of your zone or locality. I hope this answers your questions adequately. Yes?

  24. Hello George,

    I will like to know if property rate is applicable to those who have buildings on stool lands.

    Thanks
    Francis

    1. Yes, it applies. Those exempted include public hospitals, public places of worship and properties that are used for charity works. The exemptions are granted by the Local Government Act 462, 1993.

  25. Uncle George, I insist that my property be valued before I pay any bill they present to me. Reasons being that the assembly don’t even have any data of my property. Can’t the law back my claims?

  26. Uncle George goodday pls tell me what benefit must we expect in our locality when we faithfully pay our property rates. I really need a reply if possible your direct contact so l can discuss some issues with you.

  27. CAN YOU BE ASK TO PAY 2 PROPERTY RATE FOR I PROPERTY?

    THIS IS HAPPENING IN SAKUMONO —TDC AND TMA >>>ALL DEMANDING PROPERTY RATE

  28. I live at Kenyasi in the Brong Ahafo Region and all old houses have not been asked to pay property rate but those of us in the new sites are always pressed upon to pay. Why is it so?
    What is the consequence if I refuse to pay?

  29. Hello sir, Am Michael living in Accra. There is this land granted to my dad to run a spot for many years now by the main and rightful owners(okai koi stool family in Accra) and on a monthly base rent. Please this land is less than half plot in sizes and there is a another occupant just behind claiming trying to claim ownership of the whole land. Please my dad, my elder brother, and I were accompanied to the stool land( owners) by the surveyor of this same stool land to buy the same land since he is a every good friend of my dad, at the office an amount was put before us to pay as the cost of the land high is not up to half plot.
    Now over the years we hardly get a property bill rate so I wrote to the AMA concerning our inability to get a rate bill over the years, so the AMA ask me to see a man who is in charge of valuation for the process and he is asking me to do a photocopy of the whole land documents( indenture and site plan) given to us by the same land owners( the stool land family) for him to submit for the process after I was directed to write a request letter and a photocopy of the site plan.
    Plsase my question is, is it write to give him photocopy of all the land documents as he claims to submit for our property bill rate documanetation.

    Thank you.

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