Lack of Assets Register Hinders Local Revenue Collection

1782 Views Fort Portal, Uganda

In short
Lawrence Magezi, the acting Kyarusozi town clerk says the town council doesnt know its entire revenue sources due to lack of an assets register.

Lack of an assets register is affecting local revenue collection in town councils in Kyenjojo district. According to the Local Government Act, administrative units such as municipalities and town councils are mandated to have an assets register to enable them collect local revenue adequately. The register lists sources of revenue for the units.  

However, in Kyenjojo, none of the five town councils have an asset's register, which has affected local revenue collection, since the authorities are ignorant of revenue sources. Some of the major sources of local revenue for the town councils include markets, trading licenses, Hotel tax, boda boda fees, local service tax and building permits among others.

According to the auditor general's report 2013/2014 the town councils were expected to collect Shillings 1.2 Billion in local taxes but only realized Shillings 545,231 Million. Lawrence Magezi, the acting Kyarusozi town clerk says the town council doesn't know its entire revenue sources due to lack of an assets register. 

He explains that there are also gaps such as manual collection of revenue from traders by law enforcement officers. Gerald Bamanyisa, the Senior Law Enforcement Officer Butunduzi town council says that since they are ignorant about the sources of revenue in the area, it has left the town council struggling to provide services to residents like procurement of new garbage skips and rehabilitation of public toilets among others. 

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Some residents are also bitter that despite paying their taxes, there is no value for money. Benon Mugisa, a trader at Kyarusozi town council says he pays Shillings 55,000 every year for his trading license but the town council has failed to fix the poor drainage next to his shop.

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Angela Karungi, a restaurant owner in Butunduzi town council says that uncollected garbage has attracted flies that are scaring away her customers. She explains that due to lack of garbage skips, garbage is littered a few meters from her restaurant and the council takes long to remove it.
The Auditor General's report for the financial year ending June 2015 exposed rot in the local government revenue collection. According to the report, there was little effort on the part of the councilors to ensure effective local revenue collection. The report also shows under collection of local revenue in 59 Councils amounting to 23.9 Billion Shillings.    


About the author

Emmanuel Kajubu
Emmanuel Kajubu is proud to have been the first Ugandan journalist to write in depth pieces about the Tooro Kingdom institution. His knowledge of the inner workings of the Tooro Kingdom is what made him privy to the splits in the royal family. These splits almost challenged Tooro Omukama Oyo Nyimba Iguru's reign.

Culture, agriculture and the environment are just two areas of many of interest to Kajubu. As long as he has held a pen, Kajubu has also written about public policy, health and crime.

Kajubu is keen on impacting his society not just as a writer but also a trainer and mentor. Bundibugyo and Ntoroko districts fall under his docket. Kajubu has been a URN staff member since 2008.