Masaka Municipality Fails to Resolve Local Revenue Collection Gaps

2756 Views Masaka, Uganda

In short
Joseph Kimbowa, the Masaka Town Clerk, says they are still struggling to manage the e-tax collection system due to lack of expertise. He says their assessors failed to determine the capacity of traders to pay particular due to lack of expertise to value traders.

Masaka municipality has failed to bridge its local revenue collection gaps despite introducing the e-tax collection system. In 2014, Masaka municipality introduced the e-revenue collection system with the aim of minimizing loss resulting from irregular and manual revenue collection.
 
Prior to the introduction of the e-revenue collection system, Masaka municipality was relying heavily on law enforcement officers to collect revenue such as trading license fees, hotel tax and local service tax among others. The introduction of the e-tax collection saw each of the tax payers allocated a unique, which enables the municipality to track their payment records. 



However, the 2016 Local Government Finance Commission report shows that Masaka municipality is still falling below the target as far local revenue collection is concerned. The report focuses on local revenue collection in 14 traditional Municipalities such as Jinja, Masaka, Mbarara, Entebbe, Mbale, Gulu, and Arua. According to the report, apart from Jinja, Mbarara, Gulu, and Mbale municipalities, whose local revenue collection has improved, Masaka municipality is among those with the lowest collections.  



The report shows that the collection of Jinja municipality increased from Shillings 2.7billion in 2013/2014 financial year to Shillings 5.2billion 2014 /2015 financial year. The report also shows that the local revenue collection for Mbarara municipality increased from Shillings 3billion in 2013/2014 financial year to Shillings 4billion in the 2014/2015 financial year while Gulu municipality registered an increase from Shillings 1.9billion to Shillings 3.7billion 2014/2015 financial year.


The report shows that Masaka municipality registered a slight improvement in local revenue. According to its previous budget estimates, Masaka municipality would expect to raise Shillings 2 billion from local revenue collection in vain. The Local Government Finance commission shows that Masaka municipality registered a slight local revenue collection from Shillings 1.4billion in 2013/2014 financial year to Shillings 1.8billion in the 2014/2015 financial year.

Joseph Kimbowa, the Masaka Town Clerk, says they are still struggling to manage the e-tax collection system due to lack of expertise. He says their assessors failed to determine the capacity of traders to pay particular due to lack of expertise to value traders. He says as a result, Government has introduced the Tax Expanded program, which is managed by Uganda Revenue Authority.
 
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Paul Rubelenga, the President Masaka Municipality Development Forum, says the Municipality is still failing to collect local revenue from key sources such as hotels. According to Rubelenge, many hotels and lodges don't remit the hotel tax.
 
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Godfrey Kayemba, the Mayor Masaka Municipality, says Uganda Revenue Authority will help address the problems in their tax collection.
 

 

About the author

Edward Bindhe
Bindhe prides himself on being a part of the society he writes about. He believes there is no way a journalist can understand his society unless it considers him a part of it. This is why he is dedicated to investigating the challenges of the "little person."

Bindhe says, "My work reflects the Uganda Radio Network unique approach to news." Not many Ugandan journalists would consider or even notice the re-emergence of Water Hyacinth on a lake. Bindhe does.

Truant children will attract Bindhe's attention until he gets to the bottom of their truancy: poverty and the need to work to earn bread for their families. These are the kinds of stories Bindhe is often after.

Edward Bindhe is the Masaka URN bureau chief. Rakai, Lwengo, Lyantonde, Kalangala, Mpigi, Kalungu, Bukomansimbi and Sembabule districts fall under his docket. He has been a URN staff member since 2009.

A Mass Communication graduate from Uganda Christian University, Bindhe started practising journalism in 2008 as a reporter for Radio Buddu in Masaka district.