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Traders slapped with new taxes to fund Nairobi’s Sh37.4 billion budget

By Josphat Thiong'o | November 19th 2020
By Josphat Thiong'o | November 19th 2020

Nairobi's Muthurwa Market traders buy fresh tomatoes at three o'clock in the morning from farmers to sell in different markets in Nairobi. [File, Standard]

Property owners and traders in the capital city will be forced to pay higher levies to fund a Sh37.4 billion budget if new tax proposals by City Hall are adopted.

The new taxes are contained in the Nairobi County Finance Bill 2020 — currently at the Second Reading stage — and if passed could increase the cost of doing business in the city.

According to the Bill, traders transporting building stones will pay a seasonal charge of between Sh48,000 and Sh144,000, depending on the tonnage, though there is an option of paying per trip. The levies are part of Governor Mike Sonko-led administration’s plan to raise Sh15.5 billion in own-source revenue.

Traders transporting up to seven tonnes of building materials will pay a Sh48,000 charge while those transporting between seven and 10 tonnes a month will pay Sh72,000. Those transporting between 10 and 15 tonnes will fork out Sh96,000 while those with above 15 tonnes will pay Sh144,000.

Hardcore stones will attract between Sh24,000 and Sh120,000. This will be inclusive of a Sh24,000 charge for up to seven tonnes transported in a month, Sh48,000 for seven to ten tonnes and Sh72,000 for 10 to 15 tonnes.

The county will charge Sh120,000 charge for stones above 15 tonnes transported in a month. Charges ranging from Sh48,000 to Sh120,000 will also apply to sand and ballast transporters. Transfer of properties, under the tenant-purchase scheme, will also for the first time attract Sh10,000 transfer fee. Agricultural entrepreneurs and transporters of farm produce to the capital city will also have to put up with new taxes.

For the first time, offloading of different produce within Nairobi will attract a fee. Flowers per lorry will attract an offloading fee of Sh3,000, offloading avocados will cost between Sh800 and Sh1,500 depending on the size of the vehicle. Groundnuts will attract a charge of Sh100 per bag while thorn melons will attract Sh50 per box.

Offloading a tonne of macadamia and French beans will cost Sh1,000 whereas all other items will be charged between at Sh100 and Sh500 per pick up truck and lorry, respectively.

Notably, Miraa traders will be required to pay Sh50 per small bag, Sh100 per medium bag, Sh500 per Probox and Sh1,000 per pick up truck whereas an offloading fee of Sh30 per box of every imported fish will be levied.

The charges for tomatoes will be Sh1,500 per Probox. However, tomatoes from Tanzania will attract between Sh50 and Sh250 per box, depending on their size. The county’s Budget and Appropriations Committee chair Robert Mbatia said prompt billing and serving of demand notices combined with inspection and enforcement will ensure compliance.

“The county has also commenced the mapping of revenues to establish potential and set targets for revenue streams and collectors,” Mbatia said.

He noted that the proposals will be subjected to public participation. Moreover, solid waste disposal will also attract new charges with Nairobians paying a fee of between Sh300 and Sh600 per household every month.

For community-based organisations, solid waste collection and transportation will attract a charge of Sh3,000 for trucks between one and seven tonnes and Sh6,000 for those above seven tonnes.

Traders occupying buildings will pay between Sh5,000 and Sh30,000 as occupation certificate fees, from Sh5,000.

Daycare and nurseries will be charged between Sh3,000 and Sh20,000 for garbage collection, while secondary schools will pay between Sh2,500 and Sh20,000.

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