Designing a property tax reform strategy for sub‐Saharan Africa: an analytical framework applied to Kenya

Designing a property tax reform strategy for sub‐Saharan Africa: an analytical framework applied to Kenya

Countries throughout Sub‐Saharan Africa are exploring options to improve local property taxation. Using the case of Kenya, this article provides an analytical framework for designing an effective property tax reform strategy.

The first section presents a general conceptual model of property tax revenues, identifying four critical ratios that ultimately determine the effectiveness of any property tax system—namely, the coverage ratio, the valuation ratio, the tax ratio, and the collection ratio. The second section applies this conceptual framework to the property tax system in Kenya, focusing on the status of these four ratios and outlining possibilities for improving each ratio. The article concludes by summarizing five basic lessons from the Kenyan analysis that can assist in the development of appropriate property tax reforms in other developing countries in Sub‐Saharan Africa.