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.

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