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A comparative analysis of residential property tax assessment in botswana and sweden

Author: 
Johnson Kampamba, Soffie Leima and Anna Svensson
Subject Area: 
Social Sciences and Humanities
Abstract: 

Purpose – The purpose of this descriptive survey was to compare how residential properties are assessed in Botswana and Sweden for property tax at local government level. Research design/methodology/approach – Both qualitative and quantitative research methods (interviews and questionnaire) were used to obtain data in order to meet the objective of the study. A survey involving a self-administered questionnaire to property valuers/principal Estate officer in the Department of Local Government Finance and Procurement was used. Data was analysed using SPSS/MS Excel for quantitative analysis and content analysis for qualitative analysis Significance - The study is relevant in the sense that it revealed significant differences which can be used in future to improve the delivery of residential property tax assessment reports in Botswana and Sweden. Findings – The study revealed that rating valuation in Botswana is conducted based on the Townships Act Cap 40.02 of 1955 Part VII (Rating Valuation) Regulations 52 up to 99. In Sweden, it is regulated by Property Tax Law and the Property Tax Ordinance. The property tax assessment is regulated by law in both countries. It was also noted that in Botswana property tax assessment is conducted by the Central Government and property rates collection done by the local authorities. In Sweden, assessment is done by the Central Government and collection of tax by the Swedish Tax Agency. In Botswana the general revaluation cycle is every after five years and every after three years for Sweden. Botswana uses individual property assessment techniques and Sweden applies mass appraisal techniques. Sweden uses a computerised cadastral register system where as in Botswana the cadastral register system is not computerised. Botswana’s land records in the Deeds Office are not computerised where as they are computerised in Sweden. The basis of valuation in Botswana is market value based on capital value of land and improvements in accordance to regulation 69 of the Townships Act. Sweden also applies the market value principle based on land and improvements. They all develop tone of the list reports for benchmark properties. In Botswana the responsibility lies on the valuer where as in Sweden it lies on the owner to self-declare Originality/value – This study is the first of its kind in Botswana and has revealed significant information on how rating valuation is undertaken in other countries. The two governments can benefit from these findings in view of improving the administration of property tax assessment.

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