Bureaucratic dictatorship in tax management in the rat race economies of sub Saharan Africa: measurements and consequences
The focus of this article is on the non representative nature of the tax system in Sub Saharan Africa (SSA) and the consequent immeasurable imbalance that this has created in the social contract relations between the tax payer and the government; and the retrogressive development effects in the ability of taxation as a development instrument in the economies of the SSA. For the theoretical framework, the social contract theory and the doctrine of democratic representation were employed. To measure the level of citizens’ participation in the process and the consequences of the citizen non participation, the paper adopted the questioning approach (with rigorous analysis of the status quo as a precursor to producing the desired findings and policy prescriptions). It was discovered that there is no doubt that tax revenues are necessary for the state in the SSA to meet the basic needs of the citizens in the fulfilment of the social contract and to lift millions out of poverty amongst others. The paper posited that the present tax architecture (formulation and legislative process) is dictatorial in its ramification, fuelling unemployment and de-industrialization due to its bureaucratic origination and packaging that is lacking in inputs from citizens or taxpayers among other reasons. The paper also posited that there is almost a complete absence of dialogue between the bureaucrats and the legislature on one hand and the taxpayer on the other hand in formulating, legislating and implementing tax legislatures and policies. Based on other findings, the paper opined in its ramifications should be guided by tax payers’ public opinion or perception of national development transformation and not national tax authorities’ fiscal rascality as task masters.
Keywords: Taxation, Legislature, Citizens, Bureaucracy and Development