Kalungu, Lyantonde leaders fail to collect tax on parties

Tuesday February 12 2019

Tax. At the beginning of this financial year,

Tax. At the beginning of this financial year, councillors in both districts resolved to levy a certain amount of money from people conducting parties to raise revenue. FILE PHOTO 

By MALIK FAHAD JJINGO

Kalungu. Authorities in Kalungu and Lyantonde districts have failed to levy a tax imposed on residents organising parties.
At the beginning of this financial year, councillors in both districts resolved to levy a certain amount of money from people conducting parties to raise revenue.
Residents were supposed to pay between Shs20,000 and Shs100,000.
The ceremonies included weddings, introductions, birthdays, baptism parties, among others.

In an interview on Sunday, Mr Joseph Kizito, the Kalungu Rural Sub-county chairperson, said the resolution is still hard to implement because council has not yet come up with the right procedure collecting the revenue. “We are yet to agree on where the money is going to be paid, how best it will be collected and what will be done to those that dodge this tax and how we can bring police on board to enforce its collection,” Mr Kizito said.
Mr Joseph Juuko, the district vice chairperson, said the council ignored the resolution because they deemed it to be exploitative.

“We made several consultations from communities and people were against it. Since it is the same groups of people that pay other taxes to the district, we found it unnecessary to impose another tax on them,” he said.
Mr Fred Muhangi, the district chairperson, said they will look for other avenues to get money.
“We had nothing to do but to stop implementation of the tax. We shall get other ways of boosting our revenue rather than taxing parties,” Mr Muhangi said.

Residents said many youth were shying away from legalising their marriages in fear of incurring extra costs by paying a tax to clear their wedding functions.
Mr Samson Buteba, a resident of Lyantonde Town Council, said there are other avenues through which the district can generate revenue instead of burdening residents.

In June last year, Ms Florence Namara Kabahuma, the district finance committee chairperson, said failure to collect the tax would constrain the district because it is struggling to raise Shs170 million in revenue since taxi parks and markets were cut off from the revenue base.

Constrained
“Failure to collect that tax is a big blow to us and I am wondering how we will deliver good services because other sources of revenue like markets and taxi parks were blocked,” Ms Kabahuma said.
“Everywhere you go, people are complaining of poor service delivery. How do you expect to get good services when the district is struggling with funds? Property tax and licences fees are not enough to get locals good healthcare, roads and schools,” she added.

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