Kawempe Division property owners petition Speaker

By Ronald Mugabe

The delegation of petitioners was led by Kawempe North Member of Parliament, Latif Ssebagala as they delivered their petition to Kadaga at Parliament on Friday.

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TAXATION  DEVELOPMENT  PARLIAMENT  KCCA

KAMPALA - Residents of Kawempe division in Kampala have petitioned Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga over what they call irregularities in the property valuation process and taxation by Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA).

The delegation of petitioners was led by Kawempe North Member of Parliament, Latif Ssebagala as they delivered their petition to Kadaga at Parliament on Friday.

According to Hon. Ssebagala, the petitioners requested that the Speaker instructs KCCA to repeat the whole valuation process preceded by sensitization of all key stakeholders; especially the property owners.

“This means instructing KCCA to put an immediate end to the implementation of collection of the tax because they had set July as the period they’d start a collection,” he explained.

According to the Property Rate Act, local or urban authorities must conduct a mass valuation exercise on commercial buildings before levying taxes on them. It stipulates that the landlords and ladies have to be sensitized first.

The petitioners also requested that measures be put in place to have the tax completely reviewed to suit the current situation because the property rate tax law is very old and inapplicable in this era.

“We requested that the six percent that is being charged be annulled and at least charge property owners 4% as earlier agreed upon by local council leaders,” he revealed.

The petitioners also argued that people are already paying too many taxes and that if possible, this law be completely scrapped.

“For example, if someone owns a hotel business, they pay taxes like the property rate tax, ground rate tax, trading license, local hotel tax, local service tax, income tax, advertising tax, Value Added Tax, OTT tax, garbage tax and many others that I haven’t mentioned. In our view, these taxes are so many for one business owner to pay which forces them to raise the price of their services,” he explained.

Ssebagala revealed that the speaker expressed her concerns about the unfair assessment and promised to give a directive to KCCA to halt this process until the petition is disposed of.

The same concerns in the valuation exercise have been raised in all the five divisions of Kampala city.

In Rubaga division, some owners of commercial buildings have complained that their businesses were registered twice.

“I got two notices from KCCA reminding me to pay taxes. This is an error, they have to correct this before I give them my money,” said Ronald Mukasa, a resident of Natete, Rubaga division.

Some landlords in Makindye division have also complained that the valuation team of KCCA didn’t meet them. It remains to be seen what the fate of this exercise will be.