Residents pain to fund County's Sh4.7B own-source budget target

Kiambu Governor Kimani Wamatangi [John Mchucha, Standard]

Kiambu residents will soon dig deeper into their pockets to finance the county government's Sh4.7 billion own-source revenue budget.

The Kiambu County Finance Bill, 2022, has proposed a raft of new taxes with the hardest hit being motorists, fresh produce suppliers, health services, private education institutions and the construction industry.

The taxes are aimed at aiding the county to achieve its own-source revenue target for the financial year ending June 30, 2023.

The proposed levies passed by the Assembly on Thursday are set to see residents pay more taxes to finance the devolved unit.

Kikuyu Member of County Assembly (MCA) James Kamau lauded the new taxes measures aimed at helping the county government finance its development agenda.

He however called on the devolved unit to fast track digitisation of tax collection so as to seal loopholes of tax evasion.

"Whereas as the County Assembly we keep encouraging Kiambu residents to comply with the tax measures, it is up to the executive to ensure that tax collection is digitised so as to tame abuse of tax collection avenues.

"The performance of the executive ought to inspire as they seek to widen the tax bracket," Kamau said.

He asked the Wamatangi-led administration to go after license defaulters from previous regimes so as to widen the tax bracket.

His Tigoni-Ngecha counterpart, Francis Kinyanjui, asked residents to always pay taxes to help in offsetting the debts the county has been grappling with, and deliver prompt services to them.

"The executive should ensure all taxes are collected on time. The new administration should avoid all mistakes by their predecessors so as to encourage more people to pay taxes ," he said. "The only way we can grow as a county is when we can support our developments with our own resources."

In the new proposals, motorists parking in Zone III - which includes all areas not in Zones I or and II or residential areas not included in Kiambu Town and other zones - will pay Sh200. Those in Zone IV areas that border other counties will part with Sh100.

Delivery of water by county water tankers will cost Sh6,500 for every 10,000-15,000 litres from water drawing points covering every 10 kilometres. Water vendors will have to part with Sh2,000 for every 10,000 liters.

Fresh produce suppliers in Kiambu have also been slapped with a new charge for offloading different produce.

Flower traders will pay Sh3,000 per lorry to offload their flowers, while offloading farm produce will be charged between Sh50 and Sh1,500 depending on the vehicle size and per kilo.

Firms or individuals offering professional services such as finance management, engineering, accountancy, valuation among others will pay Sh3,300 if they employ more than 10 practitioners.

At the same time large security firms employing more than 100 guards will have to part with Sh3,300, while those employing less than 100 guards will pay Sh2,750.