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.