- Barasa said the multiple licenses contribute to unnecessary departmental disputes arising from the scramble for own source revenue collection.
The Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and industry, Kakamega chapter has kicked off a process to lobby for reduced tax rates and a unified business permit by the Kakamega County government.
On Monday, they held a familiarization meeting with the county government revenue agency where they highlighted the business environment in order to seek ways that can make Kakamega a better investment destination.
The Chairman of the chamber, Kakamega chapter, Wycliffe Kibisu said they had presented a comparison of tax rates with other Counties around the Western region to ensure Kakamega County government comes up with tax rates that are able to place it in a competitive position for investor choices.
“The reason why most investors might not be coming to Kakamega is because of the rates which are higher compared to the neighbouring Counties.
"When coming up with licenses we should ensure we are competitive so that the difference is not a hundred times more than our neighbour’s thus automatically making Kakamega not an investment destination of choice”, said Kibisu.
The chairman also noted that the Chamber of Commerce and Industry will now have a slot in the decision-making on matters of trade which also involves business rates by the County government finance ministry.
He said that public participation involving traders and business stakeholders will be given priority in order to have a better engagement than there has been in the past.
Last week, Kakamega governor Fernandes Barasa said the county government will roll out a Unified License Regime to end the issuance of multiple licenses to business people and enhance revenue collection.
Barasa said the multiple licenses contribute to unnecessary departmental disputes arising from the scramble for own source revenue collection.
Nickel Tari, the CEO Kenya Chamber of Commerce Kakamega chapter, said they already have a memorandum shared with the department of Finance and Economic Planning committee that will help in harmonizing the rates for the business community as they prepare for the next financial bill.
He said it was paramount to have a single permit for businesses like hotels adding that it was cumbersome to have several permits for such businesses.
“We want a unified business permit so that a hotel that has liquor, fire, food, and other outlets does not receive different permits but cuts only one permit covering all these subsections of businesses,” said Nickel.
Aggrey Musindalo, CEO of Kakamega County revenue agency said with the help of the Chamber of Commerce they were targeting to collect Sh2 billion this financial year from the business rates.
He added that the County government intends to expand the tax base in order to reduce its impact so that they can maximize revenue collection without loading it on a few payers.