Since 1902

Meru seeks to increase land rates for large farms

Large commercial farms in Buuri sub-county will soon pay higher land rates if a proposed amendment to the Finance Bill is passed.

Tabling a report on the status of revenue collection in the assembly, Finance and ICT Committee Chairman Dennis Kiogora said the commercial farms have been paying the same land rates since 1963 and there was need to revise the figures upwards.

Mr Kiogora said owners of large tracts of land in Buuri have been paying Sh10 per acre since 1963 and wants the figure increased as proposed in the Finance Bill.

“Sh10 in 1963 is worth Sh3,000 now,” he said.

Kiogora, the Abogeta West ward rep, said the county had set a target of Sh1.1 billion in revenue, but only managed to raise Sh527 million in the 12 revenue regions. This was an increase from the Sh305 million collected in the same period last year and Sh402m in the 2016/2017 financial year.

He said failing to raise Sh1.1 billion will affect payments to contractors who were given jobs based on the target.

He, at the same time, said there was need for all monies collected by hospitals, alcohol control board and Kaguru Agricultural Centre to be deposited in the County Revenue Fund for re-allocation.

He said the alcohol board had Sh50 million target, but it collected and spent Sh55 million.

“They are telling us they are rehabilitating drunkards, but we have not seen the figures of those rehabilitated,” he said.

MCAs Secondina Kanini, Betty Kinya and Esther Karimi said there was need to ensure revenue streams are streamlined.