DO OR DIE FOR REVENUE STAFF

Kisii tax crackdown, targets Sh550m

Automating collection, sealing loopholes, failing revenue staff risk sacking

In Summary

• Revenue staff who fail to meet targets could be sacked; director on notice.

• System being automated, traders to pay by M-Pesa, warned they could lose assets.

Kisii Governor James Ongwae says his administration aims to raise Sh550 million in the 2019-20 fiscal year.

The county is one among dozens yet to break even in revenue collections. Collections in the past have been less than Sh200 million, much of it stolen by revenue staff.

Speaking on Thursday after signing the 2019-20 Finance Bill,  Governor Ongwae said it will be do or die for revenue departmental staff.

He put his director of revenue on the spot saying he either works towards achieving the or gets sacked.

"We have the potential to upscale our revenue volumes and the director had come to office with this in mind. It is imperative that this be achieved within this year," Ongwae said.

Our shift to a paperless system is deliberate to seal some loopholes  used to siphon funds that ideally should be used to develop projects for mwananchi
Governor James Ongwae

The county boss pledged to review contracts of revenue officials who fail to meet their targets.

He said his administration has already begun automating revenue collection to seal theft loopholes and increase revenue.

An M-Pesa paybill account will be used for traders to remit payments, Ongwai said.

The aim is to minimise staff contact with cash. 

"Our shift to a paperless system is deliberate so that we seal some of the loopholes that have been used to siphon funds that ideally should be used to develop projects for mwananchi, the governor said.

 

He also said a census of all businesses in the county is underway to help the administration nab tax dodgers.

 

Traders with tax arrears the various towns were also ordered to pay up by November to avoid penalties.

"All traders are encouraged to make sincere efforts in making their payments, nobody wants to witness a trader losing all his assets for failing to pay up as required," the county boss said.

Small traders were also told to pay up to avoid increasing the amount owed that could lead to closure of their enterprises.

Present during the function were Assembly Majority leader Timothy Ogugu, House Finance chairman Denis Ombachi, Clerk James Nyaoga and Deputy Speaker Davins Nyanuso.

Ombachi said the Finance Bill has significantly reduced the cost of transport permits from Sh20,000 to Sh5,000. 

Traders will be required, however, to pay cess for goods hauled to the markets in the region.

(Edited by V. Graham)