County governments are currently presenting their budgets as required by law. The national government did so on June 14.
Public presentation of budgets enables taxpayers to know planned sources of revenue and how funds will be spent.
Budgets must be realistic and crafted to encourage and not to strangle businesses. They must not mercilessly raid employees' pockets.
The Nairobi county budget presented on Tuesday calls for taxing supermarkets for sale of carrier bags. This is absurd and not well thought-out. The cost will definitely be passed on to shoppers.
Supermarkets already pay a myriad of licence fees to national and county governments. Further taxation would be punitive.
The two levels of government are fond of going for the easy option in revenue collection.
Most informal sector businesses and employees do not pay taxes. On the other hand, registered companies and salaried people pay through the nose to sustain the national and county governments.
Both treasuries must widen their tax brackets, seal leakages and prudently spend what they collect.
Frequent tax raids targeting the cash offices of entrepreneurs and the pockets of workers will only end up killing the goose that lays the golden egg.
Quote of the Day: “I think it’s very important to have a feedback loop, where you’re constantly thinking about what you’ve done and how you could be doing it better.”
The American business magnate, investor and engineer was born on June 28, 1971.