The minister of Local Government in Lakes State has confirmed the reintroduction of the annual hut tax since it was suspended due to instability in the state five years ago.
Identified and registered through their local chiefs, Chol Kuotwel says 176,000 people have been registered to remit 5000 Pounds each to the county authorities.
Only able-bodied male from 18 years and above eligible for the annual contribution.
Kuotwel said the move was approved by the state council of ministers, which received a greenlight from the national parliament in 2022.
However, he warned of dire consequences against those who may fail to remit their contributions.
“That hut tax is being imposed by Lakes State Social Tax Act, and it is punishable for people that are not going to cooperate,” Kuotwel told Mingkaman FM on Tuesday.
Hut tax used to be about 500 SSP per a person years back but it has increased to 5000 SSP due to increase of economic crisis in the state.
This means the state government will receive 880 million SSP this year.
Chol went on to assure the community of Lakes that the taxes are going to be spent on developmental services in every county.
The tax payment assignment has started and will run for two months.
“We are giving them enough time to be able to get money; it is less, they can raise it. There is nothing difficult about that,” he added.
Aman Lou, resident of Awerial Center, confirmed that the hut tax collection exercise has commenced in his area.
He, however, noted that the contribution is unfair since not everyone will afford to pay due to the bad economy, especially in the villages.
“We are surprised that it has increased to 5000 SSP from roughly 500 SSP. How will such people be able to afford that amount?” Lou asked.
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