MASINDI, JANUARY 8, 2024 – In a bid to boost local revenue collection, leaders and technocrats in Masindi Municipal Council leaders have been trained on using a new digital platform to collect taxes as opposed to using manual methods.
Rogers Nayebare, the Senior Inspector of Local Governments in the Ministry of Local Government said use of manual methods is to be blame for the low revenue collected by the local governments.
He added: “When you go digital, more tax revenue will be realised and you become self reliant. We want you to be self reliant and that’s the reason why we are bringing initiatives to enhance local revenue.”
Nayebare noted that local governments that have automated their tax systems have tripled their revenue.
He was speaking on days ago during the training of councilors and the technocrats of Masindi Municipal Council at Country Inn Hotel on the implementation of the local government revenue management system codenamed E-logrev that has been rolled out IN Masindi Municipality.
The training was done by a team of officials from the Ministry of Local Government in Kampala.
The automation of tax administration and expansion of the tax base which is being implemented under the Taxpayer Registration Expansion Programme which is a collaboration of Uganda Revenue Authority [URA], Kampala Capital City Authority [KCCA], Uganda Registration Services Bureau [URSB] and the Ministry of Local Government.
Nayebare further noted that automated tax collection is good for promoting efficiency, transparency, monitoring, and reduces reliance on central government to fund development projects in local governments.
“We are losing much money because tax collection is not automated. We no longer want people to touch money. We need money to go to the bank direct. We want you to appreciate this system [E-logrev] because those who have embraced it are doing well. In some local governments, councilors are earning Shs1 million as allowance because they have enough revenue. How much do you earn here [in Masindi Municipal Council]?” Nayebale asked.
Currently, the automated tax system is being implemented in 27 local governments and according Nayebare, they’re collecting more taxes than when they were using manual methods.
According to Tadeo Opio, the Speaker Masindi Municipal Council, a councillor earns about Shs 100,000 as sitting allowance since they collect only Shs 1.3 billion as local revenue.
Nevertheless, Nayebale said they want local governments to be able to start procuring their own vehicles, road units, work on roads among others without depending on central government.
Charles Mwijukye, the Principal Inspector of Local Governments from the Ministry of Local Government implored the leaders to explain to the taxpayers the importance of paying taxes using E-logrev.
“Tell people that we have left manual ways of paying taxes. Go and do mass registration of taxpayers such that you know who are compliant and and who are not. We will be able to increase tax local revenue collection. Our interest as the Local Government Ministry is to see self-sustaining local governments. We want to see you lighting your streets, working on your priorities among others,” he advised.
He challenged the leaders and the tax collectors to always establish the number of the potential taxpayers for easy management.
Francis Businge, the Senior Assistant Town Clerk for Masindi Municipal Central Division also underscored the need for the leaders to mobilise and sensitise the taxpayers since they know them better.
“Government has given each of the divisions two computers, internet and a printer to help us automate local revenue collection,” Businge said.
However, the municipal leaders argued that collecting taxes and remitting the same to the central government is unfair, given that they have priorities to fund.
The leaders also complained of the delays by the central government in releasing the money to fund development projects.
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