After a decade of devolution, the bulk of the counties are yet to achieve their own-source revenue targets.
Only four of the 47 counties made it in the financial year ended June 2023 highlighting the continued underperformance of the devolved units in revenue collection.
Data published by the Treasury reveals that only Baringo, Homabay, Kitui and Lamu met their targets with coastal counties scoring 119 percent relative to the target.
The combined revenue hit Sh37.8 billion, representing a 60.8 percent score relative to the targeted Sh62.1 billion.
The collection represents a Sh1.9 billion increase from the Sh35.9 billion collected in the previous year.
The slow growth in revenue and a huge deviation from the target means counties will keep relying on the government for funding to meet their spending obligations.
During the year under review, the national government wired Sh399.6 billion to counties, making it the first year the units received their due cash before the end of financial year.
Despite the low score, total collections relative to target increased slightly from the 59 percent recorded in the year ending June 2022, reversing three consecutive years of continuous decline.
With the national government meeting its side of the bargain, focus now shifts to own source revenue performance for the units which were meant primarily to empower Kenyans from the micro-level.
According to the data, Marsabit County which collected Sh59 million last year, was the worst performer only managing slightly over a third of its target, followed by Murang’a which managed 35.6 percent score of the Sh1.5 billion target.
Homa Bay County posted the biggest rise compared to the previous year as its revenue increased three times to Sh491 million.
Nairobi, which contributes a quarter to the country’s GDP, grew its revenues to Sh10.2 billion from last year’s Sh9.2 billion.
The counties have been under heavy scrutiny for their spending patterns that have led to massive theft of public funds amid tough economic times.
According to the Controller of Budget, their expenditure on development in the financial year ended June 2022 stood at Sh98.4 billion representing only a quarter of their total expenditure.