Worried by the rate at which the government of Rivers State indirectly loses revenue from house owners, while tenants are being exploited, an estate surveyor and valuer in Port Harcourt, Mr. Ariobiobara Bestman, has urged the state government to introduce property tax.
Bestman, who was speaking in a chat with The Tide in Port Harcourt, explained that property owner, particularly those living in owners-occupier houses ought to be paying taxes on their property so as to support the state in the area of property development.
As an estate manager with the Rivers State-owned Pabod Finance and Investment Limited, Bestman said that most house occupants in Port Harcourt are on tenancy, while few are living in their own houses and that these tenants are exploited in the area of tenament rates.
He said that other states like Lagos and the FCT have been operating on property tax where landlords are made to pay certain percentage of the value of the property to the state government, hereby boosting the income of the state.
The estate surveyor further posited that most of the tenants in Port Harcourt and its environs are indigenes, while most of the landlords in Port Harcourt are non-indigenes, and have not been contributing their quota in the form of property tax to the state for development.
According to him, if property tax is introduced in the state and the revenue generated can be used to finance Mortgage Institutions, such can assist property developers for housing development in the state.
Bestman, therefore, urged the state government not to relent efforts any longer in ensuring that proper regulation is put in place for property development in the state such as property taxation.