Ugandans to cough UGX 200,000 annually for govt new car license

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The Ministry of Finance has proposed a license fee of 200,000 Shillings on all car owners as part of the revenue measures to fund the 2021/2022 budget.

State Minister of Finance David Bahati says that the move is intended to streamline the transport sector by getting rid of illegitimate cars and raising money for the maintenance of roads across the country.   According to the breakdown, Car owners will pay 200,000 Shillings while motorcycle owners will pay 50,000 Shillings annually.

Bahati was today defending the new tax bills before the Finance committee chaired by Henry Musasizi. If passed, the proposal will come to effect on July 1, 2021. It is embedded in the Traffic and Road Safety Act (Amendment) Bill, 2021 which seeks to impose a license to permit ownership of a motor vehicle, trailer or engineering plant.

This implies that to use the vehicles on the road, one will need a road license, issued differently from the drivers’ license. Anyone who fails to pay for the road licence could be jailed for two years, pay a fine of 2 million Shillings, or suffer both imprisonment and fine. Bahati told the committee that if this license is introduced, the country will have roadworthy vehicles and at the same time, the government will get funds to maintain the roads.    

Nandala Mafabi, the Budadiri West MP questioned why the government backtracked from its previous plans of imposing taxes on fuel yet the car license fees was earlier scrapped because it was hard to implement. He says this could increase the rate of corruption.  

Henry Musasizi, Chairperson of Finance asked why The government insists on imposing direct taxes that are hard to implement and also questioned how owners of vehicles parked at home will be charged yet their cars are not on road. The government has projected to raise revenue to a tune of 22.408 trillion Shillings with tax measures alone raising 400.93 billion Shillings for the financial year 2020/21.    

Last week, Minister of Finance, Matia Kasaija tabled tax measures seeking to make amendments to a number of bills including, Excise Duty Act, External Trade Act, Fish Act, Income Tax Act, Mining Act, Stamp Duty Act, Tax Appeals Tribunal Act and Tax Procedures Code Act. The others are; Tobacco Control Act, Traffic and Road Safety Act and Value Added Tax Act.