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Tax collectors stealing cash, residents claim

By Olivia Odhiambo | Published Wed, September 26th 2018 at 00:00, Updated September 25th 2018 at 23:49 GMT +3

County revenue officers have been accused of pocketing some of the money they collect from traders.

During the Finance Bill public participation forum yesterday, Members of the County Assembly and residents said it was no secret that some of the officers did not surrender to the county government all the taxes they collected.

ALSO READ: Graft lords are back to collect after tax vote

They blamed the revenue haemorrhage on the government's manual process of collecting levies.

South East Gem MCA David Audi said markets like Akala in Gem collected more than Sh50,000 daily but only Sh10,000 was recorded.

“The county government must move with speed and seal the loopholes, address these gaps. We shall not deny the county taxes as entrenched in the Finance Bill but we want to see value for the taxes. Markets must have good drainage and garbage collection sites that must always be cleared,” said Mr Audi.

Gem resident Martin Arara said revenue collectors would continue to enrich themselves with taxpayers' money if the system was not improved.

Received money

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Trade and Enterprise Chief Officer Joseph Ogutu said clerks who received money on behalf of the county government were also suspected of embezzling it.

Mr Ogutu however said the county government would install an electronic revenue collection system to seal corruption loopholes and curb wastage.

Revenue collection in the county has been on the decline for the past two years. 

ALSO READ: Traders to pay more in new county taxes

In July 2018, the county collected Sh10 million while in August, revenue rose to Sh13 million.

The county collected Sh270 million in the last financial year, sparking concerns from MCAs.

In a bid to shore up revenues, the county government plans to charge those keeping animals Sh500 per year, those putting up banners Sh3,000 and boda boda riders Sh1,200 per year.

Unplanned buildings or residential house owners will pay Sh6,000 if the Financial Bill is passed.

Those using Siaya Stadium for rallies or crusades will pay Sh20,000 per day.

The county is aiming to raise Sh275,000 million in revenue this year. This will be an increase of 1.85 per cent in the 2017-2018 financial year.

 

ALSO READ: Raila runs into protest against tax


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