Authorities in Gulu City Council (GCC) have launched a fresh valuation of property tax to expand its revenue base.
The exercise which kicked off on Monday 28 June,2021 is expected to be conclude in a period of one week with a team of 124 enumerators dispersed to all wards and cells within the city.
This development comes following low generation and collection of revenue in Gulu City in the previous financial year.
The Gulu City council only managed to collect Shs 1.8 billion of the proposed 4.7 billion from local revenue.
Geoffrey Oyoo, the Senior Finance Officer (CFO) told theCooperator in an interview that the exercise is aimed at registering all the properties and businesses within the city to widen its revenue base.
Oyoo explained that Council last carried out valuation of properties five years ago; adding that the exercise will ascertain the cost analysis for new tax reforms for businesses and properties.
However, as Council struggles to widen the revenue spectrum, the projected local revenue collection in the city for next financial year has fallen below by more than Shs 900 million from Shs 4.7 billion.
“We have projected Shs 3.8 billion from local revenue collection in the next financial year of Shs 36.9 billion of the total proposed budget. We hope to generate more than was collected last financial year “Oyoo added.
Meanwhile, Gulu City Mayor Alfred Okwonga explained that local revenue will help to boost the health and education sector.
The Council has allocated Shs 13.7 billion to the education sector for the construction of teachers’ houses, classrooms and latrines.
However, Shs 70 million of the funds will cater for the construction of teachers’ houses at Pece Primary School, 64.5 million for construction of three classrooms at Christ the King Demonstration School.
St. Kizito Aywee Primary School was allocated Shs 26 million for the construction of five stances of latrines with the biggest funds for the developments being targeted from the local revenues.
Thomas Lukwiya, the Proprietor Free Zone, one of the Hotels in Gulu City has asked the council to suspend collection of revenue. At this period, businesses are struggling due to Covid-19.
Lukwiya revealed that his hotel which used to generate over 10 million on a monthly basis hardly raises a million shillings with the new restrictions in operation.
“We have laid off 16 employees from work and there is no money and we can’t talk about tax before we can deal with the pandemic” Lukwiya added.
His counterpart Michael Olobo, a member of Gulu Taxi and Transporters Cooperative has however expressed concerns of corruption which he says demotivates tax payers on revenue collection.
“We are expected to remit over Shs 180 million to the Council but the problem is that there are so many receipts in circulation for revenue collection, which we are skeptical about” Olobo added.
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