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Households to pay Sh2,000 for fire certificates in new tax measures

By Josphat Thiong'o | November 16th 2020 at 00:00:00 GMT +0300

County Government offices at City Hall, Nairobi. [Elvis Ogina, Standard]

City residents will have to dig deeper into their pockets to finance a Sh37.4 billion 2020/2021 budget if new tax proposals by City Hall are adopted by the county assembly.

Households in Nairobi will start paying an annual tax of Sh2,000 for fire certificates as the Governor Mike Sonko-led administration seeks to meet its Sh15.5 billion revenue collection target.

This is after the county executive proposed a raft of new tax measures to fund its budget. The measures are contained in the 2020/2021 Finance Bill that is currently before the Nairobi County Assembly and at the Second Reading stage.

Nairobi is also expecting Sh15.95 billion from the national government in equitable share to fund its operations.

Large and medium professional bodies will pay Sh20,000 and Sh6,000, respectively for fire certificates.

Premises storing dangerous inflammable materials such as petroleum for own use will pay an annual fee of Sh6,000. That includes LPG gas sellers and those with LPG gas for own use.

Chemists have also not been spared, as they will have to part with Sh12,000 and Sh6,000 per annum for large and small establishments, respectively, for fire licenses.

Medium hardware owners, shops, cafes and bar owners will pay Sh6,000.

The amount chargeable to malls will, however, increase from Sh25,000 per month to Sh100,000 for fire certificates.

Proposals under the solid waste management will see private garbage collectors pay between Sh30,000 and Sh40,000, depending on the number of trucks they own. Those with between one and five trucks will part with Sh40,000 while those with between six and 10 trucks will part with Sh35,000. A contractor with at least 11 trucks will pay Sh30,000.

Previously they were charged a flat rate of Sh20,000.

Residents wishing to dispose of large carcasses of animals such as those of zebras, lions and wildebeest will fork out Sh6,000 per load while those disposing of carcasses of small animals such as wild cats, dogs, mongoose and Marabou stork will pay Sh1,000 per load.

Finance, Budget and Appropriations committee chair Robert Mbatia, however, expressed reservations about the new tax measures, saying some were not realistic.

He said the Budget committee would start sitting with the various county sectors and the county treasury as from today to justify the new rates.

“Yes, we want to collect revenue to finance our operations, but we have to ask ourselves whether the contents of the Bill are really practical? We cannot touch them until they unpack it for us. Once that is done, we will seek views from the public and later present the budget to the House with amendments,” he said.

He said the committee's decision would be based on people's opinions and the financial performance in the previous years. "We have reports by the Controller of Budget and the first quarter report of revenue expenditure to guide us in making decisions."

Mr Mbatia was, however, concerned that City Hall did not gazette the 2019/2020 financial year budget and that in the 2020/2021 Finance Bill, they were basing the charges on the 2018/2019 year as opposed to 2019/2020.

The county did not gazette the 2019/2020 budget after Governor Mike Sonko failed to assent to the contested budget. The budget, however, took effect following the lapse of the stipulated 14 days by law.

2020/2021 Finance Bill Household Taxes
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