REVENUE PLAN

Residents to pay for fire certificates in new taxes

Bill also proposes dwellers pay for disposal of animal remains and solid waste management

In Summary

• Households in Nairobi will start paying an annual tax of Sh2,000 for fire certificates.

• Last year’s bill was never gazetted after Nairobi Governor Sonko failed to assent to it but took effect following the lapse of the stipulated 14 days as required by law.

Nairobi County Assemby Finance, Budget and Appropriation committee chairperson Robert Mbatia at the chambers on October 8, 2020
Nairobi County Assemby Finance, Budget and Appropriation committee chairperson Robert Mbatia at the chambers on October 8, 2020
Image: Aminga Ezekiel

City dwellers will have to pay for fire certificates as the county strives to meet its revenue collection target of Sh15.5 billion.

The Finance Bill, which has already passed the first reading, proposes that each household in Nairobi will start to pay Sh2,000 yearly for fire certificates.

 

This and other tax proposals aim to finance the annual budget of Sh37.5 billion, supplemented by Sh15.95 billion from the national government inequitable share to fund its operations in FY2020-21.

The proposed fees were opposed last year by the Kenya Alliance of Residents Association.

Kara said the charge was not necessary for households because there is no guarantee residents will get services as fire cases are not guaranteed.

Consequently, the fees were deleted from the Finance Bill.

Still under fire certificates, bar owners, cafes and medium hardware will have to pay Sh6,000  as the malls will be forced to pay more from Sh25,000-Sh100,000 monthly.

Premises storing dangerous inflammable materials for own use, such as petroleum, LPG gas sellers and users and medium professional bodies, will have to pay Sh6,000, while large professional bodies will pay Sh20,000 for the fire certificates.

Small chemists will have to pay Sh6,500, while large ones will foot Sh12,000 annually for the licence.

Clinics have also not been left out as they will be required to pay Sh6,500 per year for the certificate.

 

Another new measure introduced to the bill is the disposal of animal remains.

It will cost a city resident Sh6,000 per load to dispose of large carcasses of animals, such as lions, zebras and wildebeests.

Small carcasses of mongoose, marabou stock, wild cats and dogs will incur Sh1,000 per load.

Under the solid waste management, the bill suggests that residents living in informal settlements pay Sh100 monthly, while those in medium and high (CBD and upmarket) estates will pay Sh300 and Sh600 respectively.

Private garbage collectors will feel the pinch if the bill is passed as it is by the assembly, as they will be forced to pay more from the previous flat rate charge of Sh20,000.

They will be forced to pay between Sh30,000 and Sh40,000, depending on the number of trucks they own.

Those with one to five trucks will part with Sh40,000 and between six to 10 trucks, Sh35,000.

A contractor with 11 trucks and above will part with Sh30,000.

As from today (Monday), the County Assembly Finance, Budget and Appropriation committee will begin to analyse the proposed bill per sector and meet various stakeholders.

While poking holes into the bill, the committee’s chairman Robert Mbatia noted that all charges, despite the new ones, were compared to the FY 2018-19 and not FY2019-20.

Last year’s bill was never gazetted after Nairobi Governor Sonko failed to assent to it. However, it took effect following the lapse of the stipulated 14 days as required by law.

“It is not ordinary to have such comparison, but as a committee, we shall be having frequent meetings with the county executive per sector and county treasury so they can justify the new rates,” he said on Sunday.

Mbatia explained that the executive will be required to unpack and justify the charges in their own document (bill), after which it will head to public participation to get the views of Nairobi residents.

He argued that the committee will make decisions based on the people’s opinions and financial performance of the county.

“We have the reports by the Controller of Budget and the first quarter report of revenue expenditure to guide us in making the correct decisions. We shall put everything into consideration and ensure the final Bill accommodates all wananchi,” Mbatia said.

Last year on August 9, three Nairobi residents moved to court, seeking to stop the Nairobi county government from passing into law the Nairobi City County Finance Bill 2019.

The three, David Otieno, Rajab Walale and Mulialia Okumu argued that there was no public participation in the process.