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‘Mutura’, soup sellers to feel the heat if Finance Bill passes

By Lydiah Nyawira | Published Thu, June 14th 2018 at 07:43, Updated June 14th 2018 at 13:45 GMT +3
Nyeri Governor Mutahi Kahiga
Nyeri Governor Mutahi Kahiga

In summary

  • Nyeri County invents ingenious ways to shore up revenue
  • Finance Bill proposes stiffer tariffs to tap into new revenue streams

The Nyeri County government is in the process of preparing a Finance Bill proposing new tariffs to increase revenue.

Finance and Economic Planning Executive Robert Thuo said they would also seal loopholes identified in the previous finance laws as the county steps up efforts to meet the Sh1 billion target in locally generated revenue.

“We have identified new areas to impose fees, and also scrapped tariffs to offer incentives in sectors such as agriculture in line with national and county policies to support farmers,” Thuo said.

The Bill, which is still in its preparation stages, is yet to be tabled in the county assembly where it will undergo public participation before being enacted into a law.

According to documents seen by The Standard, those likely to be affected are car owners, churches, hoteliers, wines and spirits owners as well as butchers.

One of the proposals by the Executive is the introduction of a Sh8,000 licence fee for butchers who sell take-way meals such as roasted meat or soup in urban areas, while those operating in rural areas will be charged Sh5,000.

Butcheries that only sell soup will be charged Sh5,000 in towns and Sh3,000 in rural areas.

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Traditional delicacies

If the proposed levies are passed, traders will most likely pass on the costs to their customers be raising the prices of traditional delicacies such as ‘mutura’ and soup, forcing locals to dig deeper into their pockets.

“We have noticed an increase in the number of traders setting up open stoves on the streets to sell meat. This poses a danger to public health and should be regulated to protect the public,” Thuo stated.

Churches intending to hold crusades in the towns would have to pay Sh8,000 while those holding meetings in rural areas would pay Sh5,000.

“The reason is to introduce orderliness in the manner crusades are conducted and also reduce noise pollution,” Thuo said.

Donkey owners who used to pay Sh500 for an animal permit would have to pay Sh2,000 to the county government.

Bar licences could reduce from Sh35,000 to Sh25,000 for those operating their business in major towns, while those in rural areas who used to pay Sh12,000 would pay Sh1,000 less.

The county executive is proposing a hike on restaurant licences from Sh42,000 to Sh44,000 for those located in major towns like Nyeri, Karatina and Othaya.

 “Most of the alcohol business operators apply for the restaurant licences which allows them to operate for longer hours. This is why we are shifting our focus to this revenue stream,” Thuo said

Wines and spirits operators will be some of the hardest hit if the Bill is approved, paying Sh60,000 for permits up from Sh30,000.

The county has cited increased demand for wines and spirits licences as the reason for the fee hike, which could see it turn into a lucrative revenue stream.

New tariff

Nightclub owners, who are currently paying Sh100,000 for a licence, would see a Sh50,000 increase while alcohol distributors and depot owners are staring at a Sh150,000 fee, up from Sh50,000.

A new tariff has also been introduced for those intending to set up alcohol manufacturing plants in the county, with business permits costing Sh200,000.

The Bill also takes aim at the hospitality industry with proposals that hotels with more than 100 rooms pay Sh300,000 each year up from Sh80,000.

Lodgings and hotels with fewer than 40 rooms would get a respite, paying Sh50,000 down from Sh80,000.

Follow the conversations about the 2018 Budget on @StandardKenya. #BudgetKE2018 


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