Politics and policy
Crackdown on rate defaulters resumes
Posted Thursday, October 25 2012 at 21:25
- The affected defaulters included Unilever Kenya Ltd with a balance of Sh2.9 million, United Millers that owes Sh581,000 and Mombasa Bricks and Tiles from which City Hall is demanding Sh654,000.
The City Council of Nairobi (CCN) on Thursday started its second phase of ‘Operation Clamp Down’ taking over more than 10 buildings in the central business district in a bid to enforce payment of land rates.
The affected defaulters included Unilever Kenya Ltd with a balance of Sh2.9 million, United Millers that owes Sh581,000 and Mombasa Bricks and Tiles from which City Hall is demanding Sh654,000.
Other buildings targeted in Thursday’s operation were the Surat Distribution Association on Byramjee Street with Sh24.6 million, Virpra Patani and others on Moktar Daddah Street with a balance of Sh19 million.
“We have around 10 buildings to clamp down today. We will collect rent from tenants until the outstanding balance is cleared,” said the assistant town clerk John Ntoiti after taking over Kings Cross Lodge, a building in the central business district on Duruma Road.
The council is targeting to collect upto Sh69 million from the 10 properties.
The annual payment in land rates for the 10 affected buildings ranges between Sh166,000 and Sh8,000.
The city council also extended its operations outside the central business district to the industrial area with residential areas set for clamp down next week.
City Hall said property owners owe the local authority upto Sh13 billion in unpaid land rates but expressed fears it may not recover the full amount because of ownership disputes over some properties.
Mr Ntoiti defended City Hall from accusations of poor services by property owners saying that the council spends Sh60 million and Sh80 million a monthly on electricity bills and garbage collection respectively.
The council plans to use the recoveries to plug a hole in its budget even as it struggles clear debts.
City Hall’s inspectorate department said Princely House on Moi Avenue and Ufanisi House on Haile Selassie Avenue, which were taken over last week, had by yesterday paid their arrears of Sh3.6 million and had been cleared.
Council officials said other defaulters had been paying the balances following notices issued through the media.
By the time of going to press on Thursday, the council had taken over six buildings.
Mr Ntoiti said the council would be going to court to have the properties of those who cannot pay the outstanding rates auctioned.