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Mbacké, Senegal

YTax for the collection of municipal taxes

A municipality and an NGO engage as partners in the use of digital technology to improve the collection of local taxes.

The project YTax was set up in Mbacké (Senegal) east of Dakar to extend the tax base of the local authorities and develop good financial decentralisation.

Ytax Sénégal. Source : Bachir Kanouté, 2017.

The initiative was launched by Enda ECOPOP, an NGO headquartered in Dakar. The integrated system for the collection of municipal taxes available since 2015 was devised in partnership with the municipalities of pilot towns to make up for the inadequacies of the existing tax collection system:

  • an obsolete system often subject to fraud and corruption;
  • lack of effective control of the sums collected;
  • an tax payer information and communication deficit on the use made of the local financial resources collected, and lack of transparency.

One of the difficulties encountered when the system was introduced was the collection agents’ resistance to change and difficulties in appropriating the new tools. When a municipality joins Ytax, the officer in charge of tax records the different stakeholders in municipal tax management in the system and each player is given a user account. The collectors then go door-to-door with a mobile phone, a 3G device and a mini-printer (for receipts), in liaison with a municipal server, enabling the creation of reliable databases. Tax payers are geolocalised, aware and involved with the support of the neighbourhood councils.

In Mbacké, tax collection rose from an average daily amount of 75 euros to 540 euros after three months experimentation. The initiative is now seeking to scale up within the scope of a national programme in fifty-three Senegalese municipalities, and to develop a mobile banking module to dematerialise the tax chain in its entirety.

Lessons learnt

  • Digital technology improved tax collection, but required a change management strategy backed by an NGO.
  • The return on investment of digital technology in this domain can be very promising.

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Relations between local authorities and citizens  /  Municipal capacity building

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