Traders in Kakamega to pay more in new county taxes

A trader loaded with chicken on his motorcycle captured at Mukumu area a long Kakamega -Kisumu road
Kakamega County government has proposed new levies.

The new taxes are contained in the Kakamega County Finance Bill 2018, which is currently undergoing public participation processes.

The proposed levies target various sectors, including transport, agriculture, accommodation and catering as well as markets and waste disposal.

Once the Bill is approved by the county assembly, hawkers will pay Sh1,600 for an annual single business permit in rural areas and Sh3,400 for urban areas.

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A new application fee for branded kiosks and market stalls will be Sh500.

Restaurant businesses

Traders running restaurants in rural and urban areas will be subjected to an annual levy of between Sh2,500 and Sh10,000.

General traders, wholesale retail stores and other merchants with between three and five employees will pay up to Sh12,000 a year based on their location.

Car owners are expected to pay up to Sh3,500 a year in parking fees in urban areas while lorries will be pay Sh6,000 in rural areas and Sh10,000 in urban areas.

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Agricultural producers, processors and dealers with over 60 employees will pay up to Sh50,000 a year, both in rural areas and towns.

On transport and storage, there will be new taxes of up to Sh8,500 a year in rural areas while filling stations with at least six fuel bumps, a garage and workshop will pay Sh30,000 in urban areas.

Tuk tuk operators will pay up to Sh40 a day.

The operators interviewed opposed to the new taxes, saying they were too high.

They claimed that they charged their clients between Sh20 and Sh30 and could not afford to pay the proposed levy while at the same time paying a Sh1,200 annual levy.

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The owners of lodgings with 50 rooms and above will pay Sh40,000 a year in rural areas and up to Sh85,000 in urban areas. Smaller lodging facilities will pay up to Sh12,750.

Hoteliers opposed the new levies, saying they would discourage new investors.

They said it was important for the county government to motivate investors to put up more hotels.

“We have only two big hotels in the county and visitors have to look for accommodation in Kisumu, leading to loss of revenue. The county should consider reducing levies payable by hotels,” said William Ouya, the chairman of the hotelier’ group.

The Bill also proposes new disposal site fees on small pick-ups and large trucks.

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Small pick-ups with the capacity to haul six tonnes will pay Sh200 a trip, seven to 10 tonne trailers will pay Sh500 a trip, while lorries carrying 10 to 20 tonnes will pay Sh1,000 a trip.

Any vehicle carrying above 20 tonnes will pay Sh2,000 for every trip.

Shirere MCA David Ikunza, who is also the chairman of the finance and economic planning committee at the county assembly, said public views on the Bill would be given priority.

Governor Wycliffe Oparanya has pledged to seal loopholes through which revenue is lost and has put county officials on notice over graft and laziness.

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Kakamega CountyFinance Bill 2018Wyclife Oparanya