PROPERTY RATING AS A SOURCE OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT REVENUE IN IMO STATE (A CASE STUDY OF ORU-WEST LOCAL GOVERNMENT IMO STATE)
Property rating which is also known as tenement rating is the rate or tax levied upon the owners or occupiers of properties or tenements which are rateable. It is the kind of tax or rate which is levied on the properties which are not government or publics own. Rates from the main source of revenue to the local government. The term tenement rating was not known until 1601 when the United Kingdom introduced the poor relief fund gradually, the property rating began to gain ground in the nations and especially Nigeria local government authorities which I now a great source of the local government’s finanace not only for the development of their areas of jurisdiction but to maintain these places e.g Oru – West local government is one.
Before the introduction or rating, the local government based their realization of fund on the grants from the state and federal, borrowing from banks, Agriculture etc. and some other way of fund realiation. The fact is that the money the government got those days were not enough to pilot the affairs of their areas. They were looking for ways on which they can embark on so to get adequate money owing to the introduction of property rating, the government now have another means of getting money.
The aim for the introduction of property rating is to enable local government realize adequate revenue that should be used in providing all the needed facilities like pipe-borne water, electricity, access roads, good streets etc. for the consumption of both poor and rich people.
Howeer, with taxation by rate the amount of revenue required is fast decided and ths total liability is then distributed amount the tax payers or rate payers. The maount of the tax is fixed by dividing the sum to be raised by the aggregate rateable value. The basis of assessment of the property rate is the rateable value of land and buildings.
In Oru-West local government Imo stae, the record has it that a handful of money was realized from tenement rating. This helped them more than the agricultural sector and other sectors in the area therefore, rating is of paramount help to the world and Nigeria local governments in particular.
- Historical Background of Oru-West Local Government Area
Oru-West local government was created in the year 1996 from the old Oru local government. It is made up of ten towns namely: Ohakpu, Eleh, Aji, Nempi, Ozara, Otulu, Ubulu, Amaofu, Ibiasoegbe and Mgbidi which is the headquarter of Oru-West local government area.
It covers an area of twenty-five kilometer with estimate population of 1.4 million inhabitants. The people are mainly villagers and predominatly farmers. For instance, Eleh people and known for cassava production, Otulu are known for palm tree and plantain plantation, Mgbidi are known for poultry keeping, Aji are known for yam production, Ibiasoegbe are known for livestock keeping and management, Ozara people are known for fishing because of the large lake in their town.
The local government council headquater at Mgbidi was built and furnished by revenue generated from property rating in the area.
- THE HISTORICAL BACKGROUND OF PROPERTY RATING IN NIGERIA
Property rating in Nigeria is not entirely new. In the public services were very few. Nevertheless roads, market places, chiefs palace, meeting squares were built and maintained with communal efforts that is, individuals in the community contributed their quota of crops and services for the up-keep and maintenance of all these facilities. These contributions were nothing more than rates.
Our rating system in Nigeria was derived from Britain laws. The rating law in Britain originated with the poor relief Act 1601 which provided for the levying of taxation on every occupier of land houses etc towards the relief of the poor. This law is often called the statute of Elizabeth of England.