The Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE) has faulted officials of Kampala City Council Authority (KCCA) for causing the government a loss of 4.5bn annually by failure to enact a trade ordinance on Outdoor Advertising Levy.
KCCA was stopped by the court from collecting this levy in 2020 on the grounds that they were using an illegal instrument to collect the levy. But since then the Authority has failed to make a new ordinance to operationalize the tax.
Legislators on the parliamentary committee of Commissions Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE) were irked to discover that KCCA has gone two financial years without collecting taxes from Outdoor advertising companies due to failure to enact an ordinance to operationalize the tax.
On average every financial year KCCA was collecting sh4.5 billion in Outdoor Advertising Levy until 2020 when the high court stopped KCCA from collecting the tax and ordered KCCA to reimburse sh13,726,210,605 to advertisers. This was with respect to outdoor advertising levies that KCCA had collected since 2011.
The National Outdoor Advertising Contractors Association Limited in 2020, sued City Authority, challenging the City Outdoor Advertising Policy that was used by KCCA to collect the outdoor advertising levy, contending that it was not backed by the law and the fee was exponentially high. Court agreed with them but since then KCCA has failed to enact a new ordinance to operationalize the levy.
When put in the corner to explain why, the KCCA executive director blamed the political wing of KCCA which is mandated to make trade ordinances saying they have dragged the process of making of this particular ordinance.
To make matters worse the Deputy Executive Director, Eng David Luyimbaazi made a revelation that although the tax was stopped, there are some people who collect it illegally and eat the money. But he failed to mention a single name to the committee despite several pleas from MPs.
When they appeared before the committee, the political wing led by the lord mayor Erias Lukwago accused the technical wing of frustrating the council from making this ordinance by denying the council the committee funds to facilitate the process.
COASASE has now summoned both the political and technical wings to appear at once and make a conclusion to the matter.
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