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CRA unveils guide to assist counties raise more revenue

 Senator Maureen Tabitha (left), Governor Fernandes Barasa, CPA Mary Chebukati and Governor Abdullswamad Nassir Mombasa during the unveiling of the policy model. [Wilberforce Okwiri, Standard]

The Commission on Revenue Allocation (CRA) has unveiled a policy model that outlines a basis for levying tariffs, fees and charges in the counties

The policy is expected to serve as a technical guide for counties in developing their respective tariffs and pricing policies.

The domestication of the model policy is projected to boost county own source revenue and enhance the ease of doing business in the counties by eliminating multiplicity or duplicity of user fees and charges for similar services.

The model covers five revenue streams which include trade licensing fees, building plan approval fees, parking fees, market access fees and housing rent.

In setting up the trade licensing fees, the county government is supposed to consider factors like the type of business, and the size of the business. To come up with building plan approval fees, the county governments are to consider among other factors the cost of production and type of building.

Under the parking fees, the devolved governments are to consider among other factors parking zones and location.

In market access fees, factors to be considered are among others the space occupied in the market, types of markets and products.

To determine housing rent, the county government is supposed to consider among other factors the location of the building, type of the house, and the size of the house.

The policy states that the key consideration which cuts across the revenue streams in determining tariffs is the cost of service production.

However, each county may vary the tariffs depending on factors like categories of users and businesses, geographical areas, type and nature of services, county economic and development priorities, among other factors as deemed appropriate.

The model policy lists the county treasury, the technical committee, the County Executive Committee and the County Assembly as the actors responsible for its implementation.

Anne Waiguru, the chairperson of the Council of Governors, said the policy serves as a comprehensive framework designed not only to streamline how the funds are collected, but also to ensure that the economic and fiscal policies resonate with citizens' expectations.

“A clear and predictable tariff setting and pricing structure will enhance taxpayer’s confidence and ultimately improve the quality of life for all residents and of course, make sure that we achieve our objectives as county governments,” she said.

Waiguru said the policy will also empower county governments to make informed decisions based on sound economic principles.

This, she said, will promote sustainable development and foster a conducive environment for both global and international partnerships.

“It is without doubt that our counties have immense potential to raise revenue from onslaughts to supplement the equitable share of revenue raised nationally,” said Waiguru.

She was speaking during the launch of the policy model in Nairobi.

Rebecca Miano, the Cabinet Secretary for Investment, Trade, and Industry said the implementation of the policy should not impede inter-county economic activities or obstruct the mobility of goods, services, capital or labour.

Miano expressed confidence that the implementation of the policy will improve ease of doing business while bringing critical services closer to the people.

Mary Chebukati, the CRA chairperson, said the policy, will assist the counties in developing bylaws that will enable them to collect revenue from their different revenue streams.

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