By Lord Logo Stephen
The sanitation tax is a new tax system whose aim is to help keep the environment clean and safe. This tax is 10pesewas on the price per liter of petrol or diesel. The initiative is a good one. But is the implementation done right? There are factories all over the country polluting the environment, using unsafe and unapproved means of manufacturing products. The government plans on taxing ordinary citizens by increasing fuel price which will lead to an increase in transport fares. The ordinary Ghanaians are always made to bear the cost of such petty expenses which we could directly allocate to the perpetrators of the crime. The industries pollute the environment, they can be monitored and made to pay the tax accordingly. Vehicles that pollute the environment the most should be held accountable. But a system where everybody is taxed anyhow, how will there be accountability and how will the perpetrators of the crime stop since they are not held accountable. Yes, this type of tax is one of the easiest methods of generating revenue for the government without incurring much cost and stress so it is better to charge 10pesewas, after all, it is just 10pesewas. This petty tax is increasing the cost of living of the ordinary Ghanaian without improving their standard of living. Sanitation tax is a good Tax initiative but with what I will term as a poor implementation plan. Why should the wrong people be charged whiles firms and companies that pollute the environment are left off the hook?
I am not saying that the 10pesewas should not be charged, it should not have been introduced in the first place, but now, we have a way of even generating more revenue for the government by directly taxing the perpetrators of the crime and holding them accountable in addition to the 10pesewas tax levy.
The Ghanaian tax system in general needs a critical look. The gift tax is what will be talking about in my next article. According to the act, if you give a gift to your friend or even your spouse, it is supposed to be taxable. Is this realistic?
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