Luuka Residents Reject New Tax

Comments 2650 Views Luuka, Uganda

In short
Under the new tax, each owner of a building in Bulanga town board and Luuka town council will pay a monthly tax of 10% from the rental fees. Lorries carrying agricultural produce and traversing through Luuka should also pay 100,000 shillings per month, while traders dealing in agricultural goods are required to pay a monthly tax 50,000 shillings.

Business operators in Luuka district have rejected a newly proposed tax by the district local government saying it is discriminative.

Under the new tax, each owner of a building in Bulanga town board and Luuka town council will pay a monthly tax of 10% from the rental fees. Lorries carrying agricultural produce and traversing through Luuka should also pay 100,000 shillings per month, while traders dealing in agricultural goods are required to pay a monthly tax 50,000 shillings.

Mohammed Mbentyo, a businessman hailing from Buwaiswa village in Bulongo Sub County, says Luuka being an agricultural district the taxation is illegal and unfair to the residents, but mostly those dealing in agricultural produce like sugarcane and food crops.

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Saban Batwala, a sugarcane grower in Irongo Sub County, says the district leadership should have asked the people’s representatives to seek local farmers’ opinions before imposing a tax on them.

Emmanuel Mukisa, a district councilor for Waibuga Sub County, says the district executive through Samuel Kakyada, the Luuka district chairperson, did not give him chance to ask his people about the taxes they can afford. He says it is unfair to impose a tax of 100,000 shillings per month on people who earn less than 60,000 thousand shillings.

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Ronald Mukasa, a district councilor from Ikumbya Sub County, says that he will mobilize residents to demonstrate against the new tax.

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Kakyada however says he wants to levy taxes in order to improve Luuka district local revenue, food security and control the growth of sugarcane in Luuka district.

Kakyada says lack of food and growing of sugarcane has increased the rate of school drop outs in Luuka district.

Luuka district collected 49 million shillings in local revenue which could not foot one eighth of its budgetary requirements.

Musa Birungi, Luuka district Schools Inspector, says 40 out of 100 pupils in primary school drop off from studies to earn a living from sugarcane growing. Luuka was a county in Iganga district until July 2010 when it was elevated into a district.

In 2009, residents of five sub counties in Masaka district rejected to pay the local service tax and threatened to lynch local service tax collectors.

The local government Act empowers local governments to impose taxes in the districts for better service delivery.

 

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