The Executive Chairman of Ekiti State Internal Revenue Service (EKIRS), Mr. Olumuyiwa Ogunmilade has passionately appealed to all taxable adults and business entities in the State to brace up for the challenges of ensuring that the State remained solvent in the face of dwindling allocation from the federation account and the harsh reality of the global economy downturn accelerated by the visible effects of the Coronavirus pandemic and its attendant effects.
In a statement made available to newsmen in Ado-Ekiti, Mr Ogunmilade said that it has become imperative to look inwards to generate income for government in order to keep providing essential services and execute development projects in the State.
Reiterating the commitment of the Fayemi led administration to uplift the standard of living and accelerate the development of the State; Ogunmilade, stressed the importance of prompt payment of taxes. He stated that boosting the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) was more than a cliché as it would provide a solid foundation for properly planned and well-structured development of the State.
Essential human services like healthcare, education, sanitation, good roads, potable water and waste management cannot cease due to dwindling federal allocation so government must look inwards for the necessary income to sustain such public services.
The EKIRS Chairman assured residents that the State Government has no intention to introduce new forms of taxes which may put additional and undue pressure on the people. Instead, it will implement all the existing and relevant tax Laws to ensure more residents are captured in the tax net as well as revive the collection of taxes that have been neglected in the past so government can have adequate revenue needed to provide amenities to the good people of the State.
One of such neglected taxes is the Land Use Charge (LUC) an Ekiti State Property Tax backed by the State Land Use Charge Law, Law No. 3 of 2013. The LUC Law is a consolidation of Ground Rent, Tenement Rates, and Neighbourhood Improvement Levy.
According to him, the LUC is an annual tax, payable in respect of all real estate property situated in Ekiti State, including ordinary parcels of land and parcels of land with improvement except those exempted under the Law.
Ogunmilade explained that owners are expected to pay the LUC for their respective properties, adding that, alternatively, the tenant or occupier of a building may pay and receive reimbursement from the property owner.
To accurately determine appropriate charges, Property Identification Officers or Assessors have begun the process of enumeration of all properties in Ekiti State.
He appealed to the good people of Ekiti State to cooperate with the Property Identification Officers or Assessors in the course of discharging their duties by providing access to, and accurate information about their properties.