People owning residential houses in the city may soon start paying property tax if the proposal to amend the Local Government Rating Act presented by the Kampala City Council Authority is approved.
Ms Jennifer Musisi said the authority made a proposal to government to adjust the law to ensure that everybody who uses services in the city contributes towards their delivery.
This, she said, will enable the authority to collect enough funds through taxes to facilitate the provision of services in the city.
“The current law provides that owners occupying their own premises don’t pay property rates which is a very big disservice to KCCA because everyone living in the city wants it clean, with good roads and their garbage collected but they don’t contribute towards it,” Ms Musisi said on the sidelines of the Thought Leaders’ Forum in Kampala last week.
She added: “You see an affluent neigbourhood in areas like Naguru, Kololo and Nakasero with huge homes that generate a lot of garbage but they neither contribute to keeping the city clean nor maintaining the roads yet they are opinion leaders in demanding for these services and criticising the city administration where the services are not provided.”
Ms Musisi said KCCA has proposed that the contribution be based on the value of the property. To collect such tax, KCCA needs to first collect data on all properties in the city to enable them know the locations and the value of properties to be taxed.
Ms Musisi, however, said despite identifying the required technology, the authority is still looking for funding to procure the needed technology and also skill the employees who will be in charge of collecting the date to build an up-to-date data base.
KCCA currently uses old and inaccurate information collected manually, inhibiting its ability to plan, strategise and assess the revenues to be collected, which in turn leaves them revenue constrained.
And with the sporadic developments in and around the city that have taken place over the years, Ms Musisi said a lot of properties are still not captured in KCCA’s data base while others have been left out deliberately because of corruption.
Ms Musisi said the authority is looking at setting up a system that will initially be able to capture information about all properties within its jurisdiction on a geographic information system (GIS) - a technique in which the information on various map attributes, facilities, assets and organisational data are digitised and organised on a target GIS system on appropriate layers.
The GIS technology she said, is even able to do a 3D analysis of the number of floors on a commercial building, number of rooms or the number of apartments and that will enable them to catergorise them accordingly.
Third Dimension (3D) technology enables one see pictures in a more complete and clearer way.
Ms Musisi is optimistic that using technology will widen their tax base and boost revenue collections.