Give landlords tax incentives to waive rent – KACITA

Owners of arcades in Kampala are demanding tenants rent for the passed three months of lockdown despite closure of businesses to curb spread of coronavirus.

Kampala, Uganda | URN | The Kampala City Traders Association (KACITA) has asked government to waive income tax obligation from rent for the three months of lockdown to help the landlords also reduce pressure on the tenants.

KACITA was today appearing before the National Economy committee of Parliament which is meeting different businesses on the effect of the coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown.

Representing the Kampala traders who mostly rent arcades, Issa Sekito said that there is looming trouble between the traders and arcade owners over issues of rent with most of them demanding payment for three months of rent yet the tenants have not been working.

KACITA has proposed four options for government to consider in resolving this. Sekito says that in order to resolve the issue, government should declare the three months during the lockdown as a loss to the entire economy since everyone has felt the pinch of the lockdown so that they do not have to pay rent even when it is carried forward as they have not been making money in the last three months.

Sekito also says that if the first option fails, government can waive off the income tax obligation on rent from landlords so that the landlords can forgo the rent or minimize on the aggressiveness.

KACITA also proposes that government should engage banks to drop all interest on loans of landlords, so that the landlords can also forgive the rent or negotiate with the tenants.

They also propose that government should cover the three months rent arrears that they have not paid since they have not been working by using the money borrowed to cushion the economy.

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He says now the problem is that goods and merchandise are rotting and people are not being allowed to access the buildings to check on their goods. He says they have no way of paying the three months rent.

The chairperson of the committee Syda Bbumba said that they will present the proposals before Parliament but also said the possibility of forgiving the three months will be almost impossible but on the taxes and interests this could be possible.