- County administration is currently reviewing land valuation roll developed in 1980
- Executive is in Mombasa to strategise on how to improve revenue collection
Nairobi residents should expect aggressive revenue collection from this financial year, City Hall officials have said.
The county government has set a revenue target of Sh17 billion for the 2019-2020 fiscal year.
Revenue, budget and economic planning chief officer Washington Makodingo on Monday said top on the list will be collection from land rates, which he said was being reviewed.
Currently, the county collects an estimated Sh3.2 billion in land rates annually.
Makodingo said the county has the potential to collect Sh10 billion once the valuation roll is updated.
“We are currently developing an updated valuation roll which will give us the current value of land in Nairobi,” Makodingo said.
The Nairobi City County executive, including all executive members, heads of departments, chief officers, the finance department and the assembly committee on finance, is in Mombasa to strategise on how to improve revenue collection.
Governor Mike Sonko’s administration is currently using a valuation roll developed in 1980, when an acre of land in Upper Hill went for about Sh400,000.
Today, an acre of land in the area goes for about Sh650 million.
Environment executive Veska Kangogo said they were looking to top last year’s performance when they collected Sh139 million more than the previous year.
In the 2018-2019 year, the county collected Sh10.25 billion, contrary to reports indicating it was only Sh7.8 billion.
“This year, we are putting in place measures to ensure we collect better revenue,” Kangogo said.
The executive and chief officer painted a picture of a healthy county administration that strives to keep afloat, with salaries paid on time despite delays in disbursement of the county allocation by the National Treasury.
“The collection from our own 10 revenue streams means we have been able to pay our county staff their salaries on the 25th of every month,” Makodingo said.
Pending bills are still a headache for the county but with the measures put in place, including verification of bills from the previous regime, the county is now able to reduce the bills, the officials said.
Sonko’s administration inherited Sh60.5 billion in debts from former governor Evans Kidero’s administration.
So far, the county has paid out about Sh5.6 billion in the last three months alone.
From the amount, Sh2 billion has already been paid to Kenya Revenue Authority while another Sh1 billion is in the process of being paid.
Makodingo however said national government agencies are the most notorious rates defaulters.
He said some agencies do not pay parking fees and land rates despite controlling huge parts of the land for parking.
“People must pay what they owe. KRA is quick to come for our neck. This time we will also be quick to go for other people’s necks, even that of KRA if need be,” Makodingo said.
He said the corruption loopholes that Sonko has sealed since coming into office has helped the county stay afloat.
“Today, there are no brokers milling around City Hall like it used to be. There is no room for them. The money that used to be siphoned out of the City Hall coffers is now being used to pay county staff even when we do not receive money from the national government in time,” Makodingo said.
He said the county will now change its development strategy and will only be budgeting for realistic projects.
She said they will only go for projects that can be funded and implemented within the fiscal year.