April 22, 2017 (BOR) – Lawmakers in South Sudan’s Jonglei state assembly have passed into law the poll tax bill, which requires persons aged 18 to 65 years to pay taxes to government yearly.
Parliament’s decision to tax members of public is believed to have been triggered by the current economic meltdown, a situation that has me not allow the government to deliver services to the people.
The law that was passed required every person to SSP 300 ($17) a year. The state law indicated that, from the collection, 40% of this money would be remitted to the state while 60% would be remaining in the counties, there the collection takes place.
The focal person to make use of the money at the counties for the benefit of the population would be county commissioner.
“This money will be used to buy medicines for treatment, maintain the schools and roads. This is bill been passed into law and should be operational”, said the speaker of parliament, Charles Manyang.
The MPs are now working on the Revenue Authority Bill, which will give the revenue mandate to do what is what is required. Five years ago, Jonglei state MPs passed poll tax law, targeting people aged 18-65 to pay SSP 100 yearly.
Job Mading, 50, one of the resident in Bor, said although the bill has been passed, collection of these taxes would not good as planned, citing that many people have no jobs, or lived in displaced camps surviving on UN donated food. The few people who are working wouldn’t be able to afford it due currency devaluation against dollar.
“And those who will pay these taxes, will still regret, because the corrupt the officials will use the money in their own benefit” he said.