Members of the Tema Residents Association have described property rates and sewerage user fees imposed by the Tema Metropolitan Assembly (TMA) in 2018 as too harsh.
They have therefore appealed to TMA to consider maintaining the 2017 rates in 2018 so that they would honour their tax obligations and keep their heads above water.
“Being law abiding citizens, we owe it a responsibility to honour the payment of rates to enable you work effectively and efficiently, but the increment we see in the 2018 bill is not within our means to pay,” they pleaded.
This was at a meeting organised on Sunday at Community 7 by the association to deliberate on the issue which was attended by more than 200 residents.
Most of the participants expressed worry that their property rates had increased by about 300 per cent when the semi-detached houses they live in were built about 60 years ago.
“With the visible defects on the buildings we expect it to depreciate but rather the property rate is rising,” they said.
Unfortunatel, only one out of eight assembly members in the areas concerned was present at the meeting.
The assemblyman for Union Electoral Area in Community 7, Kwasi Asomani, urged those aggrieved over the valuation of their property to apply to the Rate Assessment Committee for a review as outlined in the Local Government Act 1993 Act 462.
The Chairman of the Tema Residents Association, Gilbert Ashiagbley, noted that under the law the assembly was supposed to involve residents in matters concerning rates payment but that had not been the case.
He therefore hoped that the TMA would do the needful by working with stakeholders in the future.
On the matter regarding planning enforcement exercise to be carried out by the TMA upon which the city authority had requested property owners to submit building permits, the residents have asked the TMA to get in touch with the Tema Development Corporation (TDC) as it authorised the developments.
Most of the retired participants complained that they could not find their copies of permits and other relevant documents.