Local taxation in Uganda, Kenya, and Zambia

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University of Illinois


This study examines the existing local government tax structures The taxes are then evaluated with respect in Uganda, Kenya, and Zambia. to their effectiveness in furthering central government development goals, and recommendations are offered for achieving more optimal tax structures. Some attention is given to the role of autonomous local governmental units in each nation's political and economic structure. Few studies have been conducted of local government taxation in African countries, yet activities of local governments can greatly affect a country's development process. Studying three countries rather than one allows for greater comparison of various taxes and methods, and by this approach, it is hoped each country can draw on the experiences of the other two in determining the efficacy of various tax structures. The major portion of this dissertation is concerned with describing and evaluating the taxes currently employed by local governments in the three countries. Historically, the major revenue source for local governments has been the graduated personal tax, a unique type of income tax levied in many African countries. most local units in Uganda. It is still the major tax for Other taxes examined are assessment rates (property taxes), cesses, licences, and school fees. Taxes are evaluated on the basis of revenue potential, progressivity, effect on resource allocation, and costs of collection. The effect of taxation on growth of GDP is discussed only superficially; growth of GDP is a major development aim of the three countries, but it is affected primarily by central rather than local government taxation. Since each of the countries is concerned with replacing expatriates with nationals in both industry and government, a tax structure that can be administered by citizens is desirable. Information for this paper was obtained from governmental records and publications and interviews with central and local government officials in each country. Certain taxes were found to be more effective than others in meeting each country's aims. cesses were found to be an undesirable tax. In general, Of major requirement is the necessity of designing tax structures to meet the specific needs of each individual country, rather than simply incorporating features from the tax structures of developed countries or other LDCs.




Local taxation, Taxation, Tax structures, Local governmental, Uganda, Kenya, and Zambia