County government seeks to expand tax base

Residents and traders are bracing for increased levies in the 2019/20 financial year.

According to proposals seen by The Standard, Governor Anyang’ Nyong’o's administration is seeking to increase revenue from market fees by about Sh1.1 million.

Parking fee is set to increase by a similar margin while Sh43.5 million will be increased rent from county government houses.

Traders seeking to establish liquor stores or acquire single business permits are also expected to bear the brunt of new taxes, as the county government targets to raise an additional Sh9 million and Sh5 million respectively.

In the current financial year, the county hiked taxes for different categories of traders by between 50 per cent and 100 per cent, a decision that sparked uproar from a section of traders.

The new taxes affected almost all sectors including the health sector, where the county introduced Sh5,000 maternity charges, which flies in the face of the national government’s free maternal care policy.

With introduction of the UHC programme where Kisumu is one of the counties implementing its pilot phase, questions are being asked why the county is projecting to increase its revenue by Sh300,000.

Interviews with a number of residents, however, established that they were unhappy with what they termed laxity of the county government to tax other categories of traders like boda boda operators.

“The boda boda industry is one of the biggest income generating sectors in the county yet they do not pay taxes, while traders sitting in the hot sun everyday have to pay excess taxes,” said Grace Auma, a trader at Kondele.

The Standard
Make this Easter memorable with our KES999 annual offer!