Mbarara, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Mbarara City Council has created an independent department that will boost the collection of local revenue.
Local revenue collection was under the office of Finance and Planning and was controlled by the Principal Finance Officer. The new revenue department will now be managed by the Principal Revenue Officer.
Richard Mugisha, the Deputy City Clerk says that the new department will focus only on accounting and expenditure of funds generated from local revenue sources.
Mugisha explains that the department will be charged with coming up with new revenue policies, revenue assessments, issuance of tax notices and reminders to defaulters, sensitization, and collection.
Mugisha says similar departments have been created at the division level and will be controlled by the Senior Finance Officer in Charge of Revenue Collection who will be assisted by external contractors.
Robert Mugabe Kakyebezi, the Mbarara City Mayor says that the city collected local revenue worth 3.4 Billion shillings in the Financial Year 2020/21, an improvement of 2.9 Billion shillings collected in 2019/20. He says that in the past two years, the collections have been low due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Kakyebezi says that they plan to implement strategies aimed at improving the collection of revenue. He cited the use of the Integrated Revenue Administration System (IRAS).
Richard Mugisha, the Deputy City Clerk attributed the low revenue collection to inadequate staff and lack of logistics. He however says that they are planning to recruit revenue collection officers in the next financial year to reduce the dependence on external contractors.
Aggrey Twijukye, a member of the Mbarara City Development Forum welcomes the new department. He says that the development of the city will be achieved when local revenue is raised and utilized effectively.
He however wants more sensitization of traders on the taxes and fairness of licensing.
Mbarara City Council has projected to collect 9.14 Billion shillings as local revenue in the next financial year.