With the new tax regime of the current administration in Osun State, the common man on the street, especially artisans and other road-side workers are indeed in for extremely hard times.
Recent findings of an investigation conducted by Osun Defender have revealed that artisans, including mechanics and furniture makers with their workshops located within Osogbo, the state capital have all received letters from the state tax office, informing them of various amount of monies expected from them as tax to be paid into the state treasury.
A road-side mechanic, for example, without the slightest sign of a booming business, last week, received his own letter mandating him to pay a sum of N34, 000. into the state’s coffer as his annual tax.
Authoritative sources informed the medium that the incumbent Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola-led administration in the state decided to bounce on the hapless artisans in view of the dwindling revenue accruing into the state’s treasury.
According to an inside source, the Peoples Democratic Party-led administration in the state currently bereft of new ideas to boost the state revenue base arrived at new tax regime as a result of a reduction in the state’s share of the Federation Accounts.
The source further stated that Oyinlola and members of his kitchen-cabinet are currently at a cross-road over ways of improving the state revenue base as the state currently depends solely on its allocation from the Federation Accounts to meet most of its basic responsibilities to the citizenry.
Since its inauguration in 2003, the Oyinlola-led administration in the state has been reported to have ever made little or no effort to increase the state’s Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), which had remained at N200 million at most since then.
Therefore, the state, being placed at the mercy of the Federal Government, has never deemed it necessary to put a mechanism in place to put it in a position that could make it withstand any unforeseen national or global economic shock, especially since the advent of the PDP-led administration in the state.
While commenting on the Oyinlola new tax regime, a furniture maker, who spoke with the medium on strict condition of anonymity stated that the state government is only now coming out in its true colour, in view of its truly being a conservative party.
Most of the artisans, whose opinions were sought on high taxes imposed on them by the Oyinlola-led administration, confided in the medium that the state government’s new tax policy was indeed anti-masses, which must not be allowed to stand by any right-thinking person.
They therefore, advised the embattled state government on the need to look elsewhere if indeed, it is determined to improve its revenue-base, instead of adding to the already-heavy burden being carried by an average resident in the state, no thanks to the Oyinlola administration.
They then admonished the state PDP administration to throw-in the towel if it can no more provide solutions to the state’s numerous problems, as this is the most honourable thing to do.
By bisi adesoye