Urban property taxation, revenue generation and redistribution in a frontier oil city

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Cities: The International Journal of Urban Policy and Planning, 2014, 36 (1), pp. 58 - 64
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Calls for the institution of fiscal regulations in Africa abound. At the urban level, they hinge on well-known contentions that taxes generate substantial local government revenue for infrastructural development and tend to curtail the problem of 'unearned income'. Based on empirical evidence from Sekondi-Takoradi, an oil city in Ghana, this paper shows that the nature of regulation, especially the exceptions, broader economic systems of how land is held, and social institutions can constrain successful implementation of taxation. Thus, the argument of advocates of land taxation ought to be revised: the efficacy of taxation is obvious, but contingent rather than assured.
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