Ethiopia hit by anti-tax protests
(BBC Monitor) — There are reports that military and police have been deployed to parts of Ethiopia’s Oromia state following protests over a new business tax that has been introduced recently.
The Addis Standard newspaper says that last week residents in one city, Ambo, damaged two state-owned vehicles, and this week businneses in other cities have shut in protest.
The new tax is being levied on small businesses with an annual turnover of up to 100,000 birr ($4,300; £3,300) in an effort to boost the tax base and raise much needed government revenue.
But the Addis Standard reports that business owners say tax assessors have over-estimated their revenue and are demanding too much.
It quotes one hairdresser who has been asked to pay $400, which is not much less than she earns a year.
The government says that there has been a misunderstanding about the tax rates and has tried to address the problems.
Last year, Oromia was hit by a wave of anti-government protests which led to the establishment of a state of emergency.