• Nairobi county is proposing to introduce parking fees inside residential estates in the city
• Parking fees in the CBD and commercial zones will rise up to Sh100 per hour
Nairobi county plans to introduce parking fees in residential estates in the city ( see P9).
The proposal has more to do with increasing revenue than rationalising traffic management.
Nairobi recently recommended that parking fees should be raised to up to Sh100 per hour in the CBD. That is acceptable as it will reduce traffic in the congested city centre and raise revenue for the county. The same applies to other commercial zones like Westlands.
But it is not fair to impose parking charges inside residential areas. Many residents only own cars because of inadequate public transport. Residents also pay other local taxes, directly or indirectly through their landlords, to the county.
If Nairobi county needs more revenue, it should raise property taxes and land rates. These remain very low compared to the land and rentable value of property. In the UK, London is not allowed to keep all of the property taxes it collects and has to share that revenue with other poorer cities.
Nairobi should be the same but it always postpones raising property taxes because it would primarily impact the big shots who are the decision makers.
Quote of the day: "Infinite growth of material consumption in a finite world is an impossibility."
E. F. Schumacher
The German-English economist died on September 4, 1977