KCCA bosses , councillors clash over property tax

Jul 24, 2019

Lukwago proposed 0% for properties whose rateable value does not exceed sh5m and that above sh5m but does not exceed sh20m should pay 3%.

The Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago and his councillors have disagreed with the Kampala Capital City Authority(KCCA)officials led by the acting Executive Director, Andrew Kitaka over property rates in the city.

While as City Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago is proposing a tax exemption on the property whose rateable value is not more than sh5m KCCA councilors have disagreed on property rates, saying that some divisions have already paid a 6% tax on their properties.

Lukwago proposed 0% for properties whose rateable value does not exceed sh5m and that above sh5m but does not exceed sh20m should pay 3%. 

"There's been a lot of debate on this issue, but this is my proposal, properties whose rateable value does not exceed sh5m I suggest 0%, and suggest 3% for properties whose rateable value exceeds sh5m but not exceeding sh20m. Review the rate for low-income earners "Lukwago proposed.

However, Nakawa Mayor Nsubuga Balimwezo was of the view that his division is already paying a 6% property tax rate and said that if other divisions are exempted property owners' funds will be refunded.

Balimwezo suggested that the people of Nakawa who are already paying 6% to be compensated if the tax is reduced.

"We had earlier proposed 4% and I raised a point where the people of Nakawa are already paying 6%, and I said that they should be compensated. The people are saying we need service for our money," Balimwezo said.

Lukwago was addressing a council sitting which was attended by division mayors Charles Sserunjogi and Nsubuga Balimwezo, and Farida Mpiima Resident City Commissioner.

The Council also resolved that all arrears that were not paid by property owners between 2005 -2016 be exempted and property owners pay the new rates.

The acting deputy executive director Samuel Serunkuma told councillors that property rates are the only remaining source of revenue for the institution, saying this will affect the day-to-day activities at city hall.

He also advised councillors to respect the court decisions which are not reversible." We need to respect court decisions, they are already operational they not reversible, the only income that we're getting now is from property tax," Serunkuma advised.

Serunkuma said there is no problem with the tax since those with little property pay less whereas those with huge properties pay highly and he quickly referred to resolve this at the beginning of the property budget committee.

Charles Serunjogi, the Kampala Central division mayor, pointed out that the issue of the property rates is an issue of law, adding that it has nothing to do with the divisions but rather they implement what the councillors sanction.

Farida Mpima RCC Kampala district has emphasized teamwork and advised the mayors leave behind a legacy by what they are supposed to do than speaking what the people want to hear.

"Teamwork has not been given attention yet I have been talking about this issue, the house properties between sh5m to sh20m that you (Lord Mayor) suggested that they should pay 3% in is unfair, the difference is too big," Mpiima advised.

Mpiima told politicians not to speak what people want to hear but rather what people may not want to hear. They respect you for eternity," she added.

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