Traders oppose new Finance Bill seeking to increase taxes
By ANTONY GITONGA
| Sep 24th 2014 | 2 min read
The business community in Naivasha has opposed the proposed Finance Bill from Nakuru County Government.
The traders noted that if the draft law is enacted as it is, many businesses would be closed due to high taxes levied on them.
They called on the county assembly to review the Bill, noting that some of the proposals were impossible while some taxes had been increased by 1,000 per cent.
Some of the contentious taxes singled out as too high include that of kiosks where operators are required to pay an annual licence fee of Sh2,500, up from Sh500.
Owners of 20ft containers will pay Sh15,000 from Sh500, while those with 40ft containers will now part with Sh25,000 from Sh500.
Restaurant and hotel owners also want the proposed Sh63,300 they have been remitting for various fees and charges consolidated into a single business licence of Sh15,000.
Naivasha Business Community and Professionals Association Chairman Stephen Njoroge Mungai accused the county government of introducing several taxes for a single business, warning that it had become unsustainable.
Mungai was speaking yesterday at the Naivasha municipal grounds during a public participation forum to collect views on the county's proposed Finance Bill for the 2014/2015 fiscal year.
He termed the proposed tax increases as outrageous, saying it was too ambitious and exploitative to the business community.
"Traders in Naivasha are unable to sustain their businesses because of the high and inconsiderate double taxation being levied against them," he said.
Nakuru Budget Officer Charles Lwanga said the Bill was just a proposal and that there was room for amendments.
He, however, noted that the county had in the last financial year incurred a deficit of Sh1.2 billion, hence the introduction of the new sources of revenue.
"In the 2013/2014 financial year we had projected to collect Sh2.5 billion in revenue but we only managed Sh1.3 billion, which translated to about 50 per cent," he said.
"The Constitution is clear on the aspect of public participation and that is why all the concerns you have raised will be considered," he added.
Nakuru Finance Committee Chairman Njenga Kang'ethe (Mai Mahiu county assembly member) said the proposed law was not meant to burden traders but enable the county provide a good working environment.
Bar owners have proposed that the Sh246,000 they pay be reduced to Sh25,000.
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