Leg­is­la­tors have re­jected a li­cense fee for mo­tor ve­hi­cle own­ers payable an­nu­ally, which had been tabled un­der the Traf­fic and Road Safety Act (Amend­ment) Bill 2021.

In a Ple­nary sit­ting on Tues­day, 3rd May 2021 chaired by Speaker Re­becca Kadaga, Hon. Jane Pa­cuto Avur while pre­sent­ing the com­mit­tee re­port, called upon the House to re­ject the bill on grounds that the pro­posed levy qual­i­fied as dou­ble tax­a­tion.

Pa­cuto said that mo­tor ve­hi­cles are met with a tax when they come into the coun­try, and there­fore any move to fur­ther levy tax on the same was un­fair.

She fur­ther noted that the pro­posed taxes would the tax would af­fect the cost of do­ing busi­ness for those in the tourism in­dus­try and com­pa­nies run­ning large fleets since they would have to pay an­nual li­cense fees.

Hon. Jonathan Odur (UPC, Erute County South) ex­pressed dis­plea­sure by the gov­ern­men­t’s move to levy taxes in li­cence, which he termed as ret­ro­gres­sive. He noted that the taxis are pay­ing ad­vance taxes and li­cense per seat de­pend­ing on the sit­ting ca­pac­ity.

“These taxes are over­whelm­ing to fleet op­er­a­tors mak­ing it dif­fi­cult for busi­nesses to sur­vive. The Min­is­ter should never re­turn to this Par­lia­ment with such a re­gres­sive tax,” Odur added.

The Fi­nance Min­is­ter, David Ba­hati while agree­ing to the with­drawal of the Bill, con­firmed that they had dis­cussed with the Com­mit­tee and other stake­hold­ers which they agreed that the gov­ern­ment should first pre­pare a sys­tem to as­sess the road wor­thi­ness of ve­hi­cles and as­sist tax col­lec­tion in that area.