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URA to take over monthly taxi payments

The Uganda Revenue Authority has been tipped to collect the monthly parking fees from commuter taxi/buses in parks, according to a proposal from the ministry of Local Government.

In July 2013, the ministry of Local Government issued a three-year policy guideline on management and development of taxi parks in local governments. That policy expired on June 30, 2016.

According to the fresh set of guidelines, the of local government notes that there have been persistent cases of disputes and public outcry over the management of taxi/bus parks in some local governments. As a result, the ministry is considering handing over the assignment of collecting fees from parks to URA.

Taxis currently pay monthly taxes to KCCA

Speaking to The Observer on the sidelines of an event last week, Vincent Seruma, the assistant commissioner, public and corporate affairs at URA, confirmed that they had received a communication from the local government but could not delve into details, saying discussions were still ongoing.

“There was a budget conference and most likely it [the proposal for URA to collect the monthly fees] came through. What we need is human resource,” Seruma said.

The recently-released Local Government ministry guidelines directed each agency not to levy more than Shs 80,000 per vehicle for each calendar month. It said the vehicle owners and drivers pay the fees to a local government or urban authority, where the vehicle picks and drops passengers routinely.

“The rate may be reviewed and revised by the minister in consultation with key stakeholders every financial year,” Tom Butime, the Local Government minister, said then.

The proposal for URA to take over the role was debated recently at the accountability sector annual review workshop in Munyonyo by some officials from the local government ministry.

If URA takes over, officials from KCCA say they are likely to lose more than Shs 1.8bn that they have been collecting.

However, the commuter taxis working within the central business district might feel more burdened. For instance, KCCA currently charges taxi operators in the city a monthly road fee of Shs 120,000.

This means that commuter taxi and bus operators working within Kampala will have to remit at least Shs 200,000 to government monthly.

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