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Bikers See Fraud In Council’s FCFA 34.5 Million Tax 

By Maxcel Fokwen

Kumba – []Hundreds of commercial motorbike riders in Kumba, Southwest Region, are fuming that a special park levy of FCFA 1,500 on them, which could help the Kumba City Council generate circa FCFA 34.5 million, is fraudulent. Some of the bikers, who spoke to The Post, argue that the tax smacks of exploitation by the City Council staff. They claimed that they have no park and so are not supposed to pay any special tax. To them, their engagement with the Council is bound by the payment of FCFA 7,000 for tank registration and FCFA 11,000 annually as global tax. Statistics from the Meme Divisional Delegation of Transport, as at the first of quarter of 2015, indicated that Kumba has over 23,000 commercial bikers.

On the strength of the above figures, if all bikers respond to the tax drive, the Kumba City Council would raise FCFA 34.5 million as revenue through the special park fee. Asked if they have met the authorities concerned, the bikers accused even their Union leaders of conspiracy to see them pay extra money to the Councils. One of the bikers averred that the Union leaders said they were not aware of any such park fee. According to a flyer which the City Council has sent out as part of its sensitisation campaign, the bikers are supposed to have been informed about the tax from October 1 to 14, 2015.  The flyer, titled, ‘Special Bike Park Fee Sensitisation’ partially reads; “all motorbikes that are caught after October 14, 2015, without the park fee, shall be impounded at the Kumba City Council, KCC, and will be released after payment of FCFA 3,000 as impoundment charges”.

Contrary to the worries expressed by the bikers, the Government Delegate to the Kumba City Council, Victor Nkelle Ngoh, told The Post that the special park fee is managed at the level of the City Council’s Circulation Department. Ngoh said the special park fee is what the bikers are supposed to give the Council. He maintained that it is a tax which they, themselves, are aware of, but for some others who are just trying to concoct stories out of nothing. The City Council boss argued that citizens must learn to pay their taxes without being forced to do so, if they expect development. The Delegate insisted that it is from such money that the City Council funds its development agenda. He debunked the fact that the levy is illegal and advised the bikers to respect their own part of the bargain for development to thrive.

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