Govt urged to sensitise property owners to achieve tax compliance 

Gulu City is among the cities in which government is seeking to enhance domestic tax mobilisation. Photo / File 

What you need to know:

  • There is need for the public to under the rationale behind the enhanced tax mobilisation measures at local government level 

Government must conduct continuous sensitisation if property rates compliance is to be achieved, according to Mr George Kidega, the Gulu City finance manager. 

Speaking in an interview, Mr Kidega said it was important for government to continuously sensitise property owners and the general public in cities and municipalities about the rationale behind the enhanced tax mobilisation measures at local government level, which will ultimately improve compliance.

“People must understand that we need to raise revenues to support our development agenda. However, property owners must go beyond this and comprehend the methodology behind the deductible rates and the intended utilisation of the funds we are collecting from them,” he said, noting that beyond this, there is need to streamline the payment process if the 100 percent collection rate is to be achieved. 

Government, under the Services and Fair Tax for Property Owners’ campaign, in partnership with RippleNami and Usaid has been conducting sensitisation campaigns under the Domestic Revenue Mobilisation for Development Strategy to foster dialogue and engagement between administrative entities and property owners in local governments. 

The move seeks to bolster local government revenue mobilisation with focus on increasing property tax collections from Shs50b to Shs300b by 2026.   

Mr Kidega also indicated that there is need to streamline property tax payments by introducing accessible payment models including digital channels, such as mobile money and mobile banking. 

The Local Governments (Rating) Act provides a rating of between 8 and 12 percent for commercial properties in local government jurisdictions. Property rates contribute the largest portion of local government revenues, accounting for more than 40 percent.