27 June 2012

Tanzania: Stop Taxing Food Crop Vendors, Local Authorities Ordered

Dodoma — The government has ordered local government authorities to stop imposing tax on subsistence crop dealers with immediate effect. Instead it has directed them to impose tax on those purchasing in bulk.

The Deputy Minister for Local Government Authorities and Regional Administration, Mr Aggrey Mwanri, told the National Assembly on Tuesday that subsistence crop sellers were not profit-oriented but did so to earn some money to meet their basic life's needs and shouldn't, therefore, be taxed.

He expressed concern and surprise that despite the fact, the government had annulled such taxes, a number of councils still imposed them on the people. "Imposing taxes on these subsistence crop sellers and food vendors along the streets is not fair. We even have the Local Government Authorities Financial Act No. 9 of 1982, which clearly shows that such people are exempted from such nuisance taxes," Mr Mwanri said.

The Deputy Minister was responding to Mr Jasson Rweikiza (Bukoba Rural- CCM) who had sought to know why his voters were still being subjected to these nuisance taxes, claiming that it was pure oppression and exploitation. Mr Rweikiza claimed that it was unfair to tax a citizen whose income was below 100,000/- per month while other workers fetching over 100,000/- went untaxed.

Mr Mwanri insisted that the local government authorities were supposed to initiate other legal sources of income and just collecting taxes from the people who struggled day and night to get their daily bread.

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