Kampala Capital City Authority-KCCA wants owners of private residential houses in the city to resume paying property tax. Jennifer Musisi, The KCCA Executive Director, says the property tax waiver on private residential houses costs the Authority over US$ 1.3 million dollars annually.
According to Musisi, almost all the owners of houses in upscale parts of the city are not paying property tax, claiming they occupy them. Musisi says owners of multiple houses in the City avoid paying the property rates by claiming that they reside in the houses yet they rent them out. Previously, almost all the owners of the residential houses use to pay property rates.
However, during the 2006 presidential election campaigns President Yoweri Museveni, said those staying in the houses should be exempted. As a result, the Local Government Act was amended to cater for exemption.
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The Local Government Act 2005 and its amendments of 2006 also exempts official residence of the President, a traditional or cultural leader and property used exclusively for public worship, and residences of a religious leader from property tax.
KCCA with funding from World Bank has embarked on automation of property rates management targeting to register over 250,000 properties from the 120,000 properties registered. The Authority expects to collect seventeen million dollars annually from property rates.
Musisi says the Authority also plans to carry out a fresh valuation exercise in the city, saying the last valuation was carried out ten years ago. She says many of the newly constructed malls and houses are not paying the property rates because they have not been valued.