Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya. [Photo, Standard]

Governor Wycliffe Oparanya has defended new taxes contained in the Finance Act 2018.

He said some of the new rates were fairer than what some local traders paid in previous years.

The county boss accused unnamed individuals of misleading residents that the county government was overtaxing them.

In some cases, traders will pay a one-off fee annually as opposed to daily payments, which Mr Oparanya said worked out cheaper.

Among the contested levies is the Sh1,200 boda boda riders are expected to pay every year.

"This is lower than what boda boda operators have been paying. In previous years, they paid Sh30 daily, which translated to Sh10,800 annually. The new arrangement saves them a lot of money," said Oparanya in Mumias town.

"If those people lying to the residents that we are over-taxing them took time to look at the new levies, they will realise we are actually saving them money."

The county government is hoping to meet a new revenue target of Sh1 billion as it works to fund its Sh14.5 billion budget.

The governor also hopes to fulfil his promises to residents in his final term in office, including provision of electricity and piped water. Oparanya has also promised to improve more roads.

He lashed out at politicians who he accused of misleading residents on the new taxes to achieve their own selfish ends. 

“Those spreading the rumours should know I was elected to serve the people and I have their best interests at heart,” said the governor.

At the weekend, former senator Boni Khalwale told residents the county government was after their savings through the high taxes.