Gulu Pleads with Gov’t over Taxi Park fees

Kelly Komakech(in red shirt), the Pece Division Chairperson said the central government’s directive stopping collection of daily fares from taxi and bus operators will greatly affect revenue collection and implementation of programmes in the division.

Gulu Municipal Council authorities have pleaded with government to hold its directive banning daily collections from taxi operators saying it will affect the municipality’s revenue collections.

In September, the Ministry of Local Government issued a directive after the presidential order banning all the daily collections from taxis.

According to the directive, all taxi and bus owners are to pay a fees charged by either the Uganda Revenue Authority or the Transport Licensing Board.

The mandatory dues to be paid by taxi and bus operators include: Licenses on Public Service Vehicles, Advance Presumptive Tax charged by Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) on businesses that don’t submit formal accounts and parking fees.

The other fees include; Inspection Fees collected by SGS under a Private Public Partnership arrangement.

Last week, taxi drivers in Kampala stopped President Museveni a as they demonstrated against the revenue that Kampala capital city authority wanted them to pay.

The drivers blocked some of the roads vowing not to pay the said revenue adding that it was stopped by the President.

In his presentation during the 2018/2019 budget conference on Wednesday, Edward Ojok, the Gulu Municipal Senior Finance Officer noted that pronouncements by government on taxi park fees has greatly affected revenue collection.

Ojok observed that bus park and parking fees is a huge sources of revenue to the Gulu council.

Gulu Municipal Council had estimated to collect 117.4 million from parking and taxi park fees this financial year running.

Frank Omal, the Revenue Officer for Pece Division, also in Gulu Municipality says the division is likely to lose 300 million shillings in revenue as result of the government directives on taxi park revenue.

Gulu Main Taxi and Bus Parks contributes around 40 percent to Pece Division’s 1.5 billion annual budget.

Kelly Komakech, the Division Chairman for Pece described the government’s directive suspending revenue collection at bus parks as a ‘‘setback’’.

Komakech said that local governments will find challenges in implementing projects that are already budgeted for as a result of the decision of the central government.