Revenue mobilization is intertwined with development and essential mandate of Local Councils. Development can only happen when Council are able to step up its revenue generation drive. Over the years, Council has realised little in revenues and in some instance the community are left under serviced. All of this backed by other challenges has left the tax payers to ponder on whether there is value for their monies and further display reluctance and defiance in adhering to tax obligation.
In a bid to overcome these huddles, the Port Loko District Council is set to mount an aggressive revenue drive for better and efficient service delivery. The Council has targeted over one billion leones as expected revenues for 2019, covering property rates, business licences, registrations, mining royalties and other sources.
As part of preparation for increased revenue generation, Council through the EU funded project has provided motor bikes to help capacitate the valuation departments and there are plans to conduct a revenue assessment across the district to help update the cadastre. Council has also manifested interest in either reviewing or termination of the existing contract with the Credit Recovery Agency for scaling up of payments of property rates precisely in Lungi and Lunsar. In addition, Council has establish a strong media team with community radio stations that will support the sensitization of the masses on the need to pay tax and also hold Councils accountable .
However, The Chief Adminstartor, Raman Tom Farmar who was responding to the revenue situation in Port Loko underscored the gains in 2017/2018 though not commensurate to the expected tax potential in the district. He said council was able to refurbish the Hall, and face lift the office through revenues collected for the year 2017/2018. He added that Council has provided funds jointly from grant and own source for the construction of a Multi-Purpose hall in Rogbere Junction, renovation of the SLMB Primary School, Tomb Bana, renovates the Peripheral Health Unit in Kansoghn and the DEC School in Mabanta. He said Council over five tricycles for Lungi and Marampa Community waste management.
Meanwhile CA Farmar has stated that Council will continue embarking on tangible projects which will build the confidence of tax payers in the district. He said moving forward Council will make sure that 60% of proceeds from the total revenues collected are send back to the people in the form of development while the 40% will be used for recurrent expenditures. He assured all that Council will be transparent and accountable for monies received. He concluded that the people, stakeholders and non state actors should all work concertedly to harness the badly needed revenues for the betterment of the district.