Wakiso District authorities have identified more than 80,000 buildings that will be subject to property tax. These buildings encompass various types, such as commercial structures, hotels, and recreational facilities. The assessment and valuation of these properties were recently completed.
Mr. David Kabaale, the district’s principal financing officer, explained that the collection of property tax had been temporarily suspended due to the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. However, the new valuation roll has indicated that property tax will be imposed on properties in Wakiso’s sub-counties, including Wakiso, Mmende, Kakiri, Bbussi, Namayumba, and Masuulita.
Mr. Kabaale stated, “Following the suspension of property tax by the President due to Covid-19, the district has not been collecting property tax from the sub-counties for the past two fiscal years since 2019/2020. But we have resumed the exercise following the approval by the Ministry of Local Government, and the exercise has resumed this financial year.”
In this financial year, the district anticipates collecting Shs3.6 billion in property tax, an increase from the previous fiscal year’s projection of Shs3.2 billion, of which only Shs3 billion was realized.
Mr. Kabaale attributed the expected increase in revenue to the construction of new taxable buildings and the rising rental fees in some town councils. Consequently, the property tax rate has been raised from 4 percent to 8 percent in most of the town councils within the district.
Mr. Vincent Kasozi Muwonge, chairperson of Wakiso Traders and a property owner, expressed surprise that even incomplete buildings were subject to taxation. He remarked, “They [district officials] start taxing the structure when it’s still on the foundation level and they will come back to demand for that money when the building is complete. Let them follow the law governing property tax.”
Additionally, Mr. Kasozi alleged that tax collectors also imposed taxes on the rent fees collected by property owners, sometimes resorting to forceful measures. He urged for a more collaborative approach in addressing these issues.
Ms. Josephine Nabaggala Kafeero, the Nansana Municipality deputy town clerk, clarified that the valuation process followed specific procedures based on location and size. She mentioned that consultative meetings at the village level played a crucial role in determining the use of property tax funds.