Land rate defaulters owe Meru county Sh900 million

Meru Governor Kawira Mwangaza. [Elvis Ogina, Standard] 

Meru Governor Kawira Mwangaza’s administration has given land rate defaulters up to March 31 to pay up or suffer consequences.

County Revenue Board General Manager Francis Njenga said up to 80 per cent of registered plot owners have outstanding land rates amounting to Sh900 million.

This comes as Governor Mwangaza granted owners of both registered and non-registered plots a 100 per cent waiver on land rates.

Mr Njenga said the governor had decided to waive the interest and penalties for the outstanding amounts due to prevailing hard economic times, and urged land owners to take advantage of the waiver.

“Let them (defaulters) pay or settle their outstanding dues before the waiver period lapses, on or before March 31, 2024, to enjoy the 100 per cent waiver on interest and penalties and also to avoid paying an additional 25 per cent penalty on late payment,” he said.

The revenue boss said those who do not take advantage of the incentive will have themselves to blame as the devolved unit might take measures to ensure compliance.

At the same time, it emerged that the national government is among those who have outstanding rates.

He said the county government has not received any contribution from the national government in rates from 2012 to date.

“The contribution instead of rates, payable in respect of public land shall be calculated at the same rate as that levied by the local authority on rateable property in the same rating area (as defined by the Rating Act) (Cap. 267) as that in which the land is situated. In Meru county this amount is over Sh100 million,” Njenga revealed.

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