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Projet:Summary of weekly radio talk-show « Emission Club de la Presse: "Urubuga rw’Itangazamakuru "

Activité:Talk show ″Urubugarw'itangazamakuru″ (Club de la presse)

Date:28/02/2021

Auteur(s):
  • IPGL
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The recent government announcement indicated an increase on land taxes (immovable properties) as hiked from the initial regime of Rwf80 per square meter to Rwf300 per square meter which is almost 275% increment.The issue has raised several debates where people urged the government to reconsider the regime and in the context of economic status of citizens. In a press conference held on 21st December 2020, President Paul Kagame has asked government officials to consider a review on the recent increase on the land taxes regime, an issue that had raised public debate. Kagame asked the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Dr. Uzziel Ndagijimana to explain the logic behind the increment.

Urubuga rw’Itangazamakuru (Club de la Presse) of this Sunday 28-02-2021 broadcasted in synergy by ten radios across the country and a Television (TV Isango star) focused on “The rise of Land taxes (immovable properties) in Rwanda”

Invitees

  1. Hon.Prof Omar Munyaneza / Parliament
  2. Ingabire Marie Immaculée / Transparency International Rwanda  

Prof. Omar Munyaneza, Chairperson of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on National Budget and Patrimony, explained that after the complaints were raised, a review of the tax regime is going on in collaboration with local government.

“We have already started assessing this issue to find a solution. Pending the final result, we have asked the tax body-Rwanda Revenue Authority to ease the payment. The government will find an amicable solution to the problem but without necessarily taking away the land tax regime.

“It should be clear that land comes with a tax, and at this level we can look into the matter considering citizens incomes, the economy, and reasons why the tax was put in place then we find what is workable for many instead,” he said.

Transparency International Rwanda  pointed out that residential land should not be taxed because most of the people are in their family lands and do not have the ability to pay taxes because apart from the houses where they live there is no income, some of them have no job and others are on retirement. 

“The general population has been struggling with the effects of Covid-19. Businesses, even the ones we considered successful, are struggling. Others have closed. It will take a while before people get back on their feet,” she said.

She also criticized the government for taxing unoccupied land in residential areas, saying it would not improve the lives of many young people because most of them have bought the plots in debt and plan to build them gradually.

She added that the MPs, the Council and the Ministry of Finance for sitting and determining taxes and elections without looking at the capacity of the people, and determining the amount of land tax in each area regardless of the incompetence of the holders where the majorities are struggling for eating.

Audience from different districts of the country participated via phone calls, vox pops and messages said the government should try to ease the tax regime even when it is possible that some citizens may not be in position to meet the reviewed taxes; however the objective will be to reconsider, review and access the concerns.

One of the concerned citizens in Ruyenzi cell,   Runda sector, Kamonyi dstrict   said that

“This recent increase on land taxes is too high and could result too many citizens not being in position to pay. They fear that this could result to loss of their property through auction as a result of failure to pay.”

 He gave an example of his residential plot that he used to pay 4,000 Rwandan Francs per year but for new tax regime he paid 36,000 Rwandan Francs.

The fact that government is willing to review the new land taxes was welcomed by many citizens who were listening in live the talk show.

 

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