Research around sanitation surcharges included in property taxes in Ghana

Project Duration February 2018 - December 2018 Category: Public finance and sanitation planning Country: Ghana Delivered by: Kwame Nkrumah University of Technology
Themes: Public finance Research Sanitation Urban Sanitation Research Initiative


To generate evidence that supports development of the recently introduced sanitation surcharge in Ga West and a similar surcharge enacted in Akuapem North, such that they prove effective in terms of revenue generation, and cost-effective and pro-poor in terms of expenditure. To generate evidence that will enable other Ghanaian municipalities (e.g. Kumasi) to consider replication of this model.


  • Policymakers’ acceptance and approval of pro-poor sanitation surcharge have failed to translate into effective implementation of the policy, mainly as a result of lack of commitment and a failure to appoint somebody to champion and coordinate the implementation process.
  • Level of compliance with property rate payment is low in Ga West, mainly as a result of the failure of the Assembly to demand payment
  • Property owners’ support for the pro-poor sanitation policy was found to be fairly high in the two municipalities but quite low in the Kumasi Metropolis
  • For the sanitation surcharge to receive popular support, Assemblies need to address issues of public mistrust and negative perceptions

Next steps

It is recommended that the municipalities:

  • Prepare an implementation strategy for the surcharges
  • Improve their performance in collecting the property rate from households
  • Revise the flat rate charged in Akuapem North
  • Effectively communicate and engage with taxpayers about annual revenue and expenditure

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