By Mark N. Mengonfia firstname.lastname@example.org
MONROVIA-A Liberian lawyer says, taxes collected by any government of any county should reflect development, healthcare deliveries, road connectivity among others.
Speaking at a validation meeting on situational Analysis Report recently in Monrovia, Atty. Lamaii Kpargoi said once the taxes collected from citizens of any country are used to touch the lives of the citizens, they will fully pay their taxes.
Atty. Kpangoi using the case of Rwanda, a land lock county which had a genocide mid 90s said although the situation left the country in a state of despair and practically destroyed its economy, but said the new government that took charge took deliberate decisions to put the country on track. He indicated that after about 30 years, the country is seen as a success story in many aspects of human development around the world.
“The country has put place tax reforms that have helped it to make those strides” Atty Kpangoi indicated.
According to him, due to the reforms in their tax policy, Rwanda has been ranked 38 in the world on Price Water House Cooper index for ease of paying taxes.
He furthered that because of the expanded tax base in Rwanda and attending increase in tax revenue, the country’s spending on health care reportedly grew significantly.
He indicated that it took political will for the landlock County to surpass its target of spending 15% of her budget on health.
“Spending on education and other social services also experienced increases” the lawyer said.
Back in Liberia, Atty. Kpangoi indicated that Liberia ranked 76tg in the world in the Pricewater house Cooper tax paying indicators for the 2019.
He said, since 2015, Liberia’s spending on health care has continued to fall- not reaching the 15% Abuja Declaration targets of spending of its annual budget on health.
He recalled that in 2015, Liberia spent US$73 on health which represents 12.55%.
During the validation meeting, he told participants that to some extent Liberia has improved on its tax policy but was quick to add that those taxes collected are not impacting the ordinary Liberians.
He said the lack of provisions of basic services such as electricity to all Liberians as some of the reasons a person will not want to pay tax.
“If the taxes collected are used to fix the roads, those who don’t have electricity get connected and all the basic services provided, people will willingly pay their tax” he said.
He said once the tax regime of a country is good, development is a most but if the taxes used are not used for the purpose for which it was generated.