Local Government and Rural Development (LGRD) Minister Md Tajul Islam has said if adequate civic services can be ensured, people will eagerly pay taxes.
"The government plans to bring about 80% of people under urbanisation by 2041 and to achieve this, people have to pay more taxes," he said as chief guest at a seminar titled "Beyond Covid-19: City Corporation (Local Government) Fiscal Space" on Sunday.
"If people realise that their taxes will be spent to develop roads, clean the city, eradicate mosquitoes, for waste management, health care, education and social security, etc, we will not need to force citizens to pay taxes," the minister said addressing the mayors.
Mentioning that large city corporations of the world run on their own funds, he said, "We also have to be self-sufficient like them, and the mayors should get more involved with people in collecting more taxes, providing adequate services to them."
Urban LGI spending as a share of GDP will rise to 8% by FY2041 which was 0.7% in 2018. The current urban LGI (Local Government Intuitions) taxes as a share of total taxes will gradually increase from 2.3% to 20% by FY2041. Urban LGI taxes as a share of GDP will increase from 0.2% to 4% and property tax from 0.16% to 1%-1.5%, he added.
LGRD Senior Secretary Helaluddin Ahmed presided over the programme. Among others, Narayanganj Mayor Selina Hayat Ivy, Gazipur Mayor Jahangir Alam, representatives of development organisations and 12 city corporations of the country were present on the occasion.
The seminar was organised in the capital under the Capacity Development of City Corporation (C4C) project.