UGANDA, Hoima | Real Muloodi News | RippleNami Uganda conducted a Civic Engagement Event in Hoima City on 31st August 2023, as part of a campaign titled; “Services and Fair Tax for Property Owners”, with the support of USAID as part of the Domestic Revenue Mobilisation for Development (DRM4D) initiative.
During the civic event, property owners in Hoima City expressed frustration over the lack of effective communication and engagement with tax collection authorities and demanded for greater engagement in the taxation process.
They contend that this communication gap has resulted in misunderstandings and a lack of clarity regarding their tax obligations and the benefits they receive in return.
To address these concerns, property owners are calling for increased involvement in the tax collection process.
John Magara, the proprietor of Bwendero Sugar firm, emphasised the importance of taxpayers’ voices being heard during challenging times.
He stated, “What we are asking the taxing authorities is to listen to us, especially when things are not going so well.”
This sentiment was echoed by Edward Isingoma, the Hoima City Speaker, who acknowledged the need for proper involvement of all stakeholders to improve the city’s tax system.
Isingoma affirmed, “We must be able to involve you, and it is your right to demand constant information about what is going on. We should consult you so that you have a say in what we do for the good of everyone.”
These concerns were raised during a civic engagement event organised by RippleNami Uganda at Buffalo Hotel in Hoima City.
The civic engagement event aimed to address property owners’ rights in terms of service delivery and equitable taxation concerning property rates.
This initiative is part of the “Services and Fair Tax for Property Owners” campaign, which advocates for property taxpayers’ rights to quality public services while emphasising fairness, equity, reciprocity, and accountability in how property rates are managed by the Local Government.
Hoima City Authority initiated a comprehensive property valuation exercise throughout the city in February 2022. The goal is to assess properties for taxation over the next five years, starting from the next financial year.
Knight Frank Uganda is overseeing this GIS-enabled property valuation, with support from USAID, as part of the Domestic Revenue Mobilisation for Development (DRM4D) project.
Brian Kaboyo, the Deputy City Mayor, shared that Hoima City’s total budget stands at thirty billion shillings, with two hundred million shillings coming from local revenue collection through property rates, trading licenses, and other taxes imposed on businesses within the city limits.
These tax revenues are vital for infrastructure development, sanitation, garbage collection, provision of antimalarial drugs, clean water, security, and other essential services managed by the City Council.
Property owners recognise the significance of property rates as a crucial revenue source for the city. They are hopeful that the ongoing property valuation exercise will lead to increased tax revenues, considering the significant developments that have occurred in Hoima City since it achieved city status.
In conclusion, property owners in Hoima City are advocating for a more open and collaborative dialogue with tax authorities.
They seek to bridge the communication gap and ensure that their tax obligations and the corresponding benefits are clearly understood by all parties involved.
With the ongoing property valuation exercise and increased engagement, they aim to contribute more effectively to the city’s development and growth.
READ MORE LIKE THIS: