In April, VNG International has come to an agreement with Sidama Regional State, the Mayor of Yirgalem and the Municipality, to update the assessment and taxing of properties in the city of Yirgalem. Yirgalem is currently only collecting 3% of all possible tax revenue. Yet, increasing the own income base is a crucial way for cities to increase their services to their citizens.
VNG International proposes a simplified digital version of the current property valuation. By speeding up the valuation of properties, more properties can be taxed. This light assessment method was formally presented in May. VNG International’s Business Architect Henri ten Broeke presented the approach to Sidama National Regional State Government Bureau of Development and Construction officials, Finance and Economic Bureau officials, Revenue Bureau officials, Regional Presidential Urban Development Advisors and Standing Committee Chairmen, Yirgalem City Mayor and City officials.
Participants were briefed on the technical support provided by the project to increase the revenue of Yirgalem City and to improve the financial management system with the objective of addressing the city's infrastructure needs and municipal services. The pilot will be rolled out in the month of June. The assessment tool is based on VNG International interventions in Ghana and Mozambique and will be scaled up to more cities in Ethiopia after this first pilot in Yirgalem.