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Private collectors raise vendor tax

Feb 9, 2009 (DVB), Vendors in Mandalay have complained that vendor tax has risen fourfold since municipal authorities subcontracted the collection of the tax to private individuals.

Municipal authorities put the contract for collecting vendor tax in five townships in Mandalay out to tender, and awarded it to a man named Soe Myint Han who bid 55 million kyat.

On 1 February, Soe Myint Han increased the tax to 200 kyat a day from the previous rate of 50 kyat, a vendor said.

"Vendors are getting very serious about this , they think it’s ridiculous to increase the rate to such high amounts," said the vendor.

"This has even created a feud between tax collectors and vendors, as their orders were to collect tax from us by any means."

The vendor said the 200 kyat tax was said to be for a trial period, and local vendors fear they will have to pay even higher taxes when the rates are officially set.

Mandalay municipal authorities were unavailable for comment.

Reporting by Ahunt Phone Myat