18 January 2008

Uganda: Sironko to Tax Traditional, Church Marriages

Sironko — IN a bid to widen the tax base and fill the gap created by suspension of graduated tax, Sironko District Local Government plans to levy a new tax on traditional and church marriages.

According to the Senior Finance Officer, Mr George Wanade, the new tax to be referred to as registration for marriage, is pending council approval. It will be levied on each people who are getting married.

"As one of the strategies to address the problem of low tax base, we intend, this financial year, to establish a partnership with churches to tag a marriage registration tax of Shs10, 000 per marriage and also on the traditional one through LCs," Mr Wanade said.

He was last Thursday presenting a finance paper during the 2007/2008 district budget conference at Asher Resource Centre under the theme; Re-orienting Public Expenditure for Prosperity for All.

The new tax comes barely a year after Bududa District Local Government also passed a resolution to tax traditional marriage (Kwanjula) ceremonies in bid to widen their tax base.

The move has met a lot of resistance from many people.

Mr Wanade said the introduction of the new tax as one of the contents of the Sironko District Local Government's three- year local revenue enhancement plan, does not include money levied on marriage certificates.

He said the council has decreed to introduce a development levy of 2 per cent on contracts and that Shs1500 would also be levied on any truck transporting construction materials from any site in Sironko. But the area Woman MP Beatrice Wabudeya advised them to first sensitise residents.

"If you are to register any success on these new taxes especially the marriage registration tax, sensitise the people and get them ready for payment of this tax. But without this you will meet resistance," Ms Wabudeya, who is also Minister for Presidency, said.

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