My Land

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MyLand - 07/10/2010:



On October 7, 2010 Mr IGOR LYSENKO (see picture above), newly appointed Head of the State Committee of Ukraine on Land Resources (Derzhkomzem) held his first meeting with heads of territorial departments of the Committee and managers of state enterprises subordinates of the Committee. Mr Lysenko focused on priority tasks of the Committee and its departments; he paid special attention to the role which Committee and its departments play in securing proceeds of the state budget of Ukraine and of local budgets.

Among priorities which were stressed by the Head and his First Deputy Mr Artem Kadomsky there were:

- monetary appraisal of land;

- land inventory;

- amendment of effective contracts for lease of public land in respect of ground rate (MyLand: many effective contracts provide for the rate which is low than currently prescribed minimum level);

- amendments of contracts for lease of land shares (MyLand: the problem is the same: only about 40% of such contracts provides for application of prescribed minimum rate of rent – 3%);

- utilization of funds paid in reimbursement of losses of agricultural and forestry production (ML: losses are paid by those who initiate withdrawal of farm or forestry land for purposes not related to farming or forestry).

Mr Kadomsky called upon heads of local departments of Derzhkomzem to show local authorities the benefits and economics of monetary appraisal of land. For example, Kyiv invested UAH 1.5 million into appraisal of its land; thereupon proceeds of land tax and ground rent grew and reached the level of UAH 700 million in 2008. The same is true for Odesa – investment of UAH 2 million brought about remarkable increase of proceeds of land tax and ground rent which amounted to UAH 480 million.

It was also stressed that local departments of the Committee shall restrain from approving draft contracts for lease of public land unless the said provide for currently prescribed level of the rent. According to the State Tax Administration of Ukraine, about UAH 740 million is lost annually because of very low rates of ground rent which do not comply with legally defined minimum level.

Mr Kadomsky pointed out that sometimes documents submitted by local departments show clear lack of analysis. For example, a department asked for UAH 20 million to complete monetary appraisal of land which, according to that department, would allow to raise as much as … UAH 2 million in land tax and ground rent.

Mr Lysenko drew attention of the departments to the issue of development and implementation of regional programs for use and protection of land. He called upon the State Inspection for Control Over Land Use and Protection to take part in this work and focus its attention on improvement of land tax collection.

The issue of notorious resolution of the Government # 844 was also discussed. (MyLand: According to that resolution, the Government decided to issue about 6 million land titles to citizens who privatized land (except for land shares) within the course of land reform but failed to get a title. All this work had to be funded by the state. Over 3.13 million citizens submitted their application for receiving of a free title; 1.04 million titles were issued. Now works stopped because after the Presidential elections funding ceased.) It was stressed at the meeting that for some categories of citizens it is a heavy burden to pay for titling. It was decided to draft a resolution of the Government proving for free titling for certain categories of citizens.

Then participant discussed technical issues related to introduction in Ukraine of land books and transfer of the competence to make records in land books from the Center of State Land Cadastre to local departments of the Committee.

As usual, establishment of boundaries of settlements and separation of state and municipal land were found in a very complex situation. There are 29805 settlements in Ukraine; only 16675 had proper boundaries as of July 1, 2010 (56%). The best situation with establishment of boundaries is in Crimea, Vinnytsya, Volyn, Zaporizzhya, Sumy, Khmelnitsky and Chernivtsi Oblasts where 96% of settlements has proper boundaries. At the same time only 3.5% of settlements has boundaries in Lviv, Ternopil, Kharkiv, Kherson and Cherkasy Oblasts. The problem is that most settlements in these Oblasts have boundaries which were established in the last century and by today become outdated. As a result, factual and legal areas of settlements are quite different.

Among factors driving the situation into dead end are: the absence of the law of Ukraine on administrative and territorial division of the territory of Ukraine and the lack of effective planning documentation in most settlements as well as low interest of local authorities in funding respective works.

The separation of state and municipal land is in even worse situation. As of July 1, 2010 there were 29246.5 thousand hectares subject to separation. Despite the fact that the technical works have been done in respect of almost 1.5 million ha, legally they cannot be completed because there are still unsolved problems related to titling of state and municipal land. No title cannot be issued (there is no approved template of such title) and funding is insufficient. It turns out that local authorities are not much interested in separation.

Mr Lysenko ordered local departments to submit plans for demarcation of boundaries and separation of state and municipal land within a week.

In his closing remark, Head of Derzhkomzem said that severe punishments are waiting for those neglecting proper discharge of executive competence.

Source: State Committee of Ukraine on land Resources, 2010
Translation and comments: Myland, 2010



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