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International Handbook of Land and Property Taxation

Edited by Richard M. Bird and Enid Slack

This comprehensive Handbook explores case studies of land and property taxation in 25 countries (five in each of five regions – OECD, central and eastern Europe, Asia, Africa, and Latin America), and focuses on the potential contributions of the property tax to the revenues of urban and rural governments and to more efficient land use.
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Chapter 15: Property Rates in Tanzania

Roy Kelly


Roy Kelly The United Republic of Tanzania was formed in 1964 through the merger of Tanganyika and the island of Zanzibar. Located in East Africa, Tanzania is one of the poorest countries in the world, with an estimated per capita GDP of $523. Its economy is heavily dependent on agriculture, which accounts for almost half of GDP, provides 85 percent of exports, and employs 80 percent of the workforce. Tanzania has a land area of 945 087 km2 and a population of 35.9 million.1 Tanzania is organized as a unitary government, divided into 25 administrative regions, each headed by a regional commissioner appointed by the President. Its local government system consists of 114 local government councils, comprising eight town councils, two city councils, 12 municipal councils (including the three that make up Dar es Salaam), which govern urban areas, and 92 district councils which are established in rural areas, and have the same basic responsibilities as municipalities. There are a total of 2538 ward development councils. The lowest structures are Kitongoji (village neighborhood) and Mtaa (street/township neighborhood), which operate more as forums to mobilize community participation than as administrative units. Role of property taxes within Tanzania2 In Tanzania property-related taxes and charges in 1998 yielded about Tsh 7.1 billion (US$8.9 million) – Tsh 3.8 billion (US$4.8 million) from national land rents and Tsh 3.3 billion (US$4.1 million) from the local building taxes. This represents about 0.2 percent of GDP, 1.1 percent of total government taxes and about 18...

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