Kampala, Uganda — Kampala Capital City Authority-KCCA has given landlords 30 days to file objection to property rates levied on their property.
The KCCA council passed the resolution on Monday in a meeting chaired by the Lord Mayor, Erias Lukwago.
The extension will allow property owners who couldn't file their objections to the property rates and be heard by July 1st 2019 to do so for remedial action. The extension follows a request by KCCA to the Kampala Minister to extend the time within, which the valuation court chaired by Wandera Ogalo will hear, the complaints.
In her July 11th, 2019, the Kampala Minister, Beti Olive Kamya explains that she met with division mayors, KCCA Executive and town clerks on June 27th 2019 where several issues emerged in regards to the way the property valuation was done.
These included among others lack of transparency, inadequate sensitization and absence of transparency in the display of the valuation list among others.
"I find merit in the above public concerns and therefore agree with H.W the Lord Mayor that the valuation court process be extended for one month with effect from receipt of this letter." the minister guided.
The KCCA Revenue Standing Committee chairperson, Doreen Sabuka, read the minister's letter to the council, which resolved to extend the period for 30 days.
Asked about the fate of the rates already rolled out, Sabuka said they wouldn't be affected. However, the valuation court has the final say on the property rates.
After valuation, the court listens to queries and makes a final decision. Court could reduce the rates in case it finds merit in the arguments of the complainants.
Property tax is the highest source of revenue for KCCA accounting for about 40% of its income. KCCA expects to collect about Shillings 115 Billion of which Shillings 40 billion will come from property tax.
The 2005 Local Government Act mandates urban councils to set property rates not exceeding 12% of the rateable value. The rate able value of a property is 76 percent of the annual revenue that a building owner collects from tenants. The remaining 24 percent is left for the owner to cater for utility bills and renovation.
In an earlier interview with URN, Robert Nowere, the acting Director Tax Collection in KCCA, said KCCA collects only 50% of the rateable value. He said 22% of the valuable rate is left to carter for utility bills and between 25 and 30 for any other costs like absence of tenants.