Relief for city traders as levies cut by half

 

Nairobi County Government offices overlooking KICC. [Elvis Ogina, Standard]

Bar and liquor store owners in Nairobi now have a reason to smile after the Nairobi county government slashed the licence fees by 50 per cent.

This is after the Nairobi County Assembly on Tuesday adopted the Finance Bill 2021 which slashed operation fees of bars from Sh50,000 to Sh25,000 for a 12-month licence. Charges for a 6-months or less licence were also revised from Sh30,000 to Sh15,000.

However, online hailing taxis have been slapped with a new Sh1,000 monthly parking charge. Private vehicles will also be charged Sh35,000 for a yearly licence, Sh20,000 for a 6-month licence, Sh10,000 for a 3-month licence, and Sh4,000 for a one-month operational licence.

City Hall retained parking fees for saloon cars at Sh200 against an earlier proposal to hike the same to Sh400 in the Central Business District, (CBD) classified under Zone I.

Wines and spirits owners within Nairobi will now pay Sh12,000 for a 12-month licence after the charges were slashed from Sh24,000. Those seeking a six-month or less licence will only pay Sh7,000 as opposed to the current charge of Sh14,000.

Budget and Appropriations committee chairperson Robert Mbatia explained that the move to review the charges downwards was informed by the current ‘painful’ business environment due to the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The bar and liquor store owners submitted that the costs required review to reduce multiplicity and help them compensate for the long closure period caused by Covid-19. In this regard, the committee has proposed that the relevant charges be reduced by 50 per cent,” stated Mbatia.

According to the last census report on the number of bars in Nairobi in 2016 by the County Liquor and Licensing Board, there were more than 12,500 licensed bars and liquor outlets. The number has since increased.

According to the Finance Bill awaiting Governor Anne Kananu’s assent, motorists operating in Westlands, Yaya Centre, Upper Hill, Community, Ngara, Highridge, Industrial area, Gigiri, Kilimani, Milimani, Hurlingham, Lavington, Karen, and Eastleigh which fall under Zone II will pay Sh200 for parking which is also a reduction from Sh300. 

Motorists parking in Zone III – which includes all areas, not in Zones I or II or residential areas not included in the CBD and other zones- will pay Sh100. Those in Zone IV- areas that border other counties -will part with Sh50 down from the proposed Sh100. Towing charges were also revised from Sh2,500 to Sh1,000

The MCAs also moved to shield market traders from additional taxes.

The daily market access fee for small traders was reduced to Sh20.

The charge for cabbages per ton was reduced from Sh1,200 to Sh500. Melon sellers will also be charged Sh500 down from Sh1,200 per ton.  

A large box of tomatoes will now be taxed Sh100 instead of Sh200 while taxes for ginger (per 90Kg bag) and avocado (per 90Kg bag) were also halved to Sh50 and Sh40 respectively. For a lorry admission at the markets, it will be charged Sh500 which has been halved from Sh1,000.

Moreover, the pricing of green maize per tonne was reduced to Sh500 from an earlier proposed rate of Sh1,000 while that of red and white onions (14kg bag) was reduced to Sh20 down from Sh40.

A bucket of honey will also be charged Sh50 instead of Sh100.

Additionally, traders under the informal sector also won big after a number of charges were reviewed downwards.

Hawkers with motor vehicles in a designated area selling agricultural produce will now pay Sh5,000 per year for a license after charges were reduced from the current Sh15,000. The fees for a hawker with a motor vehicle (2 tones and below) in a designated area and selling other things was however retained at Sh15,000.

By David Njaaga Sep. 22, 2022
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