Road users in Kampala to pay tax

Entebbe Express Highway

A view of Entebbe Express Highway

By URN

Kampala Capital City Authority is set to start collecting road user fees from passenger vehicles operating within its jurisdiction starting next month.

A statutory instrument by the Local Government Minister issued last year shows that vehicles with a capacity of between seven to twenty people operating in Kampala will pay Shillings 720,000 annually. 

Those with the same capacity operating beyond KCCA’s jurisdiction will pay Shillings 840,000 while those with a sitting capacity of between 21 to 60 passengers will pay Shillings 2.4 million annually. 

The cabinet reinstated the payment of road user fees following its suspension in 2017 by the president citing complaints by taxi operators about the exorbitant fees. 

Following the partial lifting of the first lockdown in May 2020, KCCA registered all taxis and buses. The Works and Transport Ministry issued the operators temporary route charts that expired in December. 

The payment of the road user fees was supposed to start in January this year but was delayed because the Works Ministry was still drawing permanent route charts for taxis and buses. 

Samuel Sserunkuuma, the Director in Charge of Revenue Collection at KCCA, says that they are scheduled to start collecting the fees come next month.

He said that unlike in the past, working with Uganda Revenue Authority-URA, they are currently configuring the system to allow partial payment following pleas from the operators. 

“We had to go to the ministry of local government, which did the necessary changes in the law; consequently the Uganda Revenue Authority also had to change its IT system to accept payments in installments,” he said.

He revealed that they are in the final stages of completing the configuration and expect the system to be ready by the end of this month. According to Sserunkuuma, they have lost over 60 billion Shillings over the years they haven’t been collecting the money. 

He, however, said unlike in the past when KCCA took the entire Shillings 20 billion collected annually, this time around they will share the money with upcountry destinations where the vehicles originate from or commute too. 

“This means we are going down from Shillings 20 billion to between Shillings 12 billion and Shillings 14 billion per annum,” he said.

Some taxi operators have welcomed the move. Muhamad Wakabi, a taxi driver along Kampala Jinja road, said the move is good provided they allow them to operate freely. 

“If they allow us to operate freely and if they can also reduce the amount it will be very good,” he said. Adding that “Imagine being stopped afar and they take your money.” 

Asuman Wasswa, another taxi driver along Entebbe road, said that they have no option but to pay the money. He says that they only had a problem with the lump sum payment, which has been resolved.  

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