Bringing Property Owners into the Tax Net: Avenues of Fiscal Capacity and Local Governance
We partnered with the Senegalese tax administration to conduct a randomized evaluation of the introduction of a modernized property tax system in Dakar. This new system includes a modernized registry aggregating geolocated cadastral data with taxpayers’ information, a new data collection and management application and an intensive fiscal census to update the database. The new application also allows to test a new simplified automatized valuation method, to address the fuzziness of the current valuation system (mostly based on tax officials’ discretion). 194 cadaster sections (including 77,000 plots) were randomly allocated between a control group and a treatment group receiving the program, allowing to measure the value-added of the new system. We are already at an advanced stage of this project and we are seeking additional funds to be able to assess the medium and long-term effects of the ongoing property tax campaign, regarding: i. fiscal outcomes, ii. local governance outcomes and iii. the incidence of the property tax and its effects on the real estate market. This project is a unique opportunity to build a long-term relationship with the Senegalese tax administration who expressed a strong interest in continuing this project and developing new ones.