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Gulu District Posted The Highest Revenue Collection as COVID-19 Hits Hard-Report

Ismail Ahmed, the Principal Inspector in the Local Government Ministry noted that local governments have the most elastic revenue system, arguing that once a challenge hits the globe, the change is drastic.
Ministry of Local Government Principal Inspector, Ismail Ahmed during the launch of the report
Gulu district local government collected the highest revenue in the country in the 2019/20 financial year despite the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on various sectors of the economy.

This is contained in a Revenue Collection Assessment Report compiled by Action Aid International Uganda in conjunction with the Uganda Local Government Association (ULGA) under the Local Revenue Mobilization and Service Delivery project. 

While presenting the report, Raymond Mutyaba, a researcher contracted by Action Aid noted that there has been a significant reduction in revenue collection across all local governments in the country, partly due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“Overall, in 2019 only 54% of local governments posted an increase in revenue collection of only 5%,” Mutyaba said. He noted that Gulu collected Shillings 910million in 2019/20 financial, which is the highest among the 17 districts that are under the project.

This is, however, is a reduction from Shillings 1.03billion the district posted in the previous financial year. Hoima came second with Shillings 730million followed by Buliisa with Shillings 492million, Masindi Shillings 449million, Katakwi Shillings 457million and Nwoya Shillings 350million. 

The worst performing is Amuru district that posted Shillings 81million. Mutyaba attributed the poor revenue performance in revenue collection to challenges that affected sources of revenue.

 

“The property tax as a source of revenue was affected by the exemption of some taxpayers during the COVID-19 lockdown, inadequate sensitization, outdated valuation lists, poor service delivery and underdeveloped collection methods,” Mutyaba said. 

He says the collection of trading license fees suffered a setback because of insufficient data on types of business, Human Resources, political interference and very low penalty. 

Ismail Ahmed, the Principal Inspector in the Local Government Ministry noted that local governments have the most elastic revenue system, arguing that once a challenge hits the globe, the change is drastic. 

He also noted that giving of advances by the Ministry of Finance to Local governments makes tax collectors reluctant.  

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