As the Haiti-Canada Municipal Cooperation Program (MCP) nears its end, project partners are reflecting together on the results and lessons learned from its implementation. One of the important components of the program was municipal tax mobilization.
The MCP is working with the City of Port-au-Prince and the municipalities of Les Palmes region (communes of Léogane, Petit-Goâve, Grand-Goâve and Gressier) to help them generate property taxes. These interventions are part of a comprehensive support framework for each municipality.
Successful municipal tax mobilization is a long-term project that requires the collaboration of local and national actors. It starts at the local level by defining the tax base of a municipality. Once the tax base is effectively mobilised, the municipality can raise the revenues necessary to achieve the projects of the community. The approach of the MCP is based on four main principles: 1- No taxation without representation; 2- No taxation without services to the population; 3- The need for technical support structures for municipalities, and; 4- The importance of intergovernmental relations.
In addition, knowledge of the land and control of land uses are an essential foundation for local and economic development planning. How can a municipality build a new school without knowing where it can be built? How can a municipality respond to requests from industrial or hotel investors without being able to offer them sites and develop the required infrastructure? Land and the corresponding taxation are foremost priorities in municipal management.
The project’s experience presented in the case study provides lessons on the role of local leaders in the tax mobilisation process, the feasibility for a municipality to carry out the exercise in the Haitian context, and the willingness of taxpayers to pay their taxes.
Case study (French): Attached
Video interview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YOKj6Abj3Lg&feature=youtu.be