The owners of small businesses, particularly tailors, at the Latrikunda Sabiji have spoken with one voice. They say they are overburdened with taxes which they cannot afford.
They complain that they are asked to pay income tax by GRA about D6000 per annum, trading licence to KMC, about D6000 per annum, rent to KMC at D400 monthly (D4800 yearly) and other charges paid to KMC. They see the cumulative effect of these taxes as killing their businesses and as a result directed their anger at the tax collector.
The deputy commissioner of domestic taxes has made it clear that they do not fix the rates of taxes but are assigned by law to collect taxes stipulated by law and have power of enforcement.
It is the government that fixes the tax rates and decides on what taxes should be levied. In short, the minister will take his revenue proposal to the national assembly for approval when he/she delivers his/her budget speech. In December 2016 the APRC dominated national assembly approved a revenue proposal which has maintained the current tax rates that these petty traders are complaining of.
Needless to say Gambia has ushered in a new era which makes it possible for the people to lobby their ministers and NAMs and to express themselves freely on matters that affect them directly so that those concerned will hear their voices, particularly the minister of finance who will present his revised budget soon.