Vendors in Hoima Central Market want the authorities to give them a tax waver citing slow business and low sales catalysed by the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic and unregulated street sales in the central business area of the city.
The vendors say they are currently receiving few buyers to the market after many sellers flocked almost all streets in the city including Bunyoro-Kitara and Byabacwezi Roads among others. The vendors say such a kind of arrangement is making it hard for them to pay the taxes levied by the city authorities.
Mr Godfrey Kutegeka, the Chairman Hoima Central Market Traders Association, says that a combination of slow business, low sales, outstanding debts from the loans they acquired to develop their businesses and tax arrears make it hard for them to pay the city tax and sustain their trade.
Mr Haruna Kasangaki, one of the vendors in the market, wants uniformity among vendors wondering how some sellers are operating from streets yet there are gazetted markets. He urges the authorities to force such sellers into the market as a business centre for specific commodities other than trapping buyers outside of the market on streets leaving those inside without customers.
However, the Hoima City Clerk, Godfrey Mbamanyisa, insists that the vendors have to pay even their arrears advising that to avoid debt accumulation which makes it hard for them to pay; they should always pay in time.
He says failing to pay tax means failing to get various services in the market like security, water and electricity among others.