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Gulu city starts property valuation to boost local revenue

Gulu City Council premises. URN photo

Gulu, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Gulu City Council has started valuation of all properties to be taxed in the next five years.

Gulu City’s revenue collection for the financial year 2020/2021 was projected at 4.7 Billion Shillings but only 1.8 Billion Shillings was realized.

Geoffrey Oyoo, the Gulu City senior finance officer says that the valuation is aimed at recording all old and new properties in Gulu City that will be taxed for the next five years.

According to Oyoo, they have dispatched a team of enumerators and town agents who shall work hand in hand with the 124 village chairpersons to record all the particulars of the property owners including the areas that were annexed into the city.

Oyoo adds that as part of their strategy to improve the revenue collection, Gulu City Council will start massive sensitization of taxpayers on the benefits of paying taxes promptly.

Thomas Lukwiya, the proprietor of Freezone Hotel in Gulu City hails the city authority’s intervention but asked them for lenience on hotel owners since they have been badly hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. He says at his hotel, 16 staff out of the initial 20 have been laid off due to financial crisis at the hotel.

Lukwiya appealed to the city authorities to first give them time to fight the novel virus before sitting them down to assess their properties for taxing.

According to a document from Gulu City Council, revenue sources that performed well as of May 18th include property-related fees with 394 Million Shillings, local service tax with 264 Million shillings, business licenses 253 Million shillings, market/gate charges 117 Million shillings and land fees with 138 Million shillings.

The worst performers include interest from private entities with 315,000 shillings, sale of non-produced government properties/assets 860,000 shillings and registrations with 1.2 Million shillings among others.

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