PROPOSED COUNTY LAW AMENDED

City Hall scraps proposed Sh2,000 fire inspection fee for households

Governor Mike Sonko on Tuesday signed the Nairobi City County Finance Bill 2019 putting the new charges into law

In Summary

• Residents, through the Kenya Alliance of Resident Associations, said they were taxed enough already.

• The county government backed off and the bill was amended.

Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko converses with a trader at Githurai Kwa Mbao market on August 29
Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko converses with a trader at Githurai Kwa Mbao market on August 29
Image: MAUREEN KINYANJUI

The city government has scrapped the proposed annual Sh2,000 fire inspection charges for households.

This comes as a welcome relief to residents, who would have dug deeper into their pockets to finance county operations. The fee was one of the levies that were provided for in the Nairobi City Finance Bill, 2019.

The increases had caused an uproar. Residents, through the Kenya Alliance of Resident Associations, said they were taxed enough already. Against this backdrop, the county government backed off and the bill was amended. Governor Mike Sonko assented to the amended bill on Tuesday.

Miraa stalls have also been exempted. They were to pay Sh2,000 monthly for solid waste management. Also left out are religious centres such as mosques, temples and churches, which were to pay a fee of between Sh5,000 and Sh10,000 a month.

The other levies that had also caused ab howl of protest included the health inspection fee for local imports of animals from upcountry. This covered sheep, cattle, poultry, goat and pigs. It had been proposed that a fee of between Sh150 and Sh1,000 be paid depending on the animal size. Sh25 would be paid per bird. This was done away with.

However, a slaughter charge for animals was reduced from Sh500 to Sh200 for cattle, Sh200 to Sh100 for goats and Sh50 to Sh20 for poultry.

The proposed medical examination booklet fee of Sh1,000 was also cancelled. In August this year, the Kenya Association of Manufacturers urged the county government to abolish the proposed fee saying it would burden food handlers and their employers.

Inspection of premises (pest control) fee has been retained at Sh3,000 per inspection per site.

A licence to operate a tree nursery has been reduced to Sh2,000 annually from Sh10,000.

Clerics will also be all smiles now that the proposed preaching fee of Sh1,500 per hour during lunchtime in Uhuru Park has been cancelled.

The yearly Sh10,000 landscape permit for a roundabout and the Sh5,000 for a frontage were also removed.

Traders in informal spaces will now pay Sh100 and not Sh200. Those who prefer daily fees will part with Sh50. The affected markets include Gikomba, Toi, Maziwa, Fig Tree, Adams, Tena, Outering stage, Ngong Road and Jogoo Road Furniture.

For modern stalls in rental markets, monthly charges will be Sh500, down from the proposed Sh750. This also covers Bus Park, which was Sh1,000. The once-registration fee of Sh3,000 was removed. 

Tipping charges for community-based organisations were also reversed. Initially, the bill required the CBOs to pay Sh3,000 for the disposal of a tonne of waste for those having fewer than seven tonnes, and Sh6,000 per tonne for those having more.

The inspection certificate fee for fish and chips cafés has been reduced from between the proposed Sh4,500 and Sh12,000 to between Sh1,500 and Sh10,000.

Bar and restaurant owners will continue with the 2018 charges of between Sh4,500 and Sh6,000 depending on their size. Sh25,000 had been proposed.

Tipping charges such as a permit for private service providers have been retained at between Sh10,000 and Sh15,000 — the same as optional solid waste management charges for restaurants, guesthouses, hotels, learning institutions and residential houses.

The daily parking fee of Sh200 for those in Zone III — all other commercial centres not in Zones I and II — has been reduced to Sh100, with Zone IV of areas bordering other counties abolished. However, the charge of Sh400 for motorists in Zone I (CBD and Kijabe Street) remains.

On-street parking for motorists in Zone II will now be Sh200 from the earlier Sh300. The areas are Westlands, Upper Hill, Community, Ngara, Highridge, Industrial Area, Gigiri, Kilimani, Yaya Cente, Milimani, Hurlingham, Lavington, Karen and Eastleigh.

(Edited by F'Orieny)