KRA shocks county with Sh154m cut to settle debt

The taxman has slashed Sh154 million from the allocation Busia County received from Treasury to settle accrued penalties.

Speaking yesterday in Busia, Finance Executive Phaustine Barasa said the move by the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) was unexpected.

Ms Barasa had last year approached the assembly requesting for Sh151 million in a supplementary budget to settle the tax dues.

MCAs however declined to grant the Sh151 million, reducing it to Sh29 million, on grounds that Barasa had failed to produce documents that would prove the authenticity of the KRA debt.

SEE ALSO: Busia police seize bhang sneaked from Uganda

The reduction saw Governor Sospeter Ojaamong’ refuse to assent to the Supplementary Appropriation Bill, 2019.

“KRA has slashed Sh154 million of our allocation. We shall have to sit as a cabinet and come up with a supplementary budget that will be adopted by the assembly,” said Barasa.

"We had earlier negotiated with KRA and reached an agreement that the county government shall be paying Sh13 million every month until the debt is settled. It is now that we have learnt that the whole amount has been slashed."

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Separately, boda boda operators have said they are willing to pay taxes if the county addresses their grievances.

Isack Obwolo, the operators' spokesperson in the county, said there were 60,000 motorcycles and if each paid Sh300 monthly in levies, the county would rake in Sh216 million annually.

SEE ALSO: Man found with county cheques worth Sh1.8 million charged

Mr Obwolo, speaking during a public participation exercise meant for the Finance Bill, however said the county and the operators must negotiate the levies.

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Busia CountyTreasuryKenya Revenue Authority