By Peter Abanabasazi
Sugarcane out growers attached to Hoima Sugar Limited in Kikuube district have rejected plans by Kikuube district local government to levy tax on trucks transporting sugarcane.
Speaking to Spice FM, Francis Isingoma alias Max Omuto, the chairperson of Hoima Sugarcane Out growers Association described the planned tax on farmers as double taxation.
The farmers raised their concern after Denis Asiimwe, from Majimoto Auctioneers and Court Bailiffs announced that his company was to start collecting tax from trucks transporting sugarcane and charcoal starting next week.
Max says that farmers pay taxes to the government through Hoima Sugar Limited adding that levying another tax on their produce will be unfair.
He added that recently government had proposed to levy 1% tax on sugarcane growers but this tax was halted after the farmers complained.
He wondered how Kikuube district local government could levy a tax on farmers without consulting them and vowed that as farmers, they will not pay the tax.
He explains that sugarcane farmers have faced several challenges such as corrupt tendencies of workers of Hoima Sugar Limited and the delayed payment of their sugarcane adding that leaders have turned a deaf ear to the farmers’ problems.
When contacted, Asiimwe confirmed the development adding that contract of collecting tax was awarded to his company by Kikuube district local government and challenged the farmers to address their issues to Hoima Chief Administrative Officer.
Samuel Muganzi, the Revenue Enhancing Officer and Principal Assistant Secretary for Kikuube DLG says that tax was passed by the previous council. Muganzi who did not disclose the amount of money to be levied on trucks says the district has a mandate of levying tax on any business to boost its revenue base.