Counties

​​​​​​​Team picks two revenue systems for all counties

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Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani. PHOTO | NMG

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Summary

  • Two revenue systems currently in use by some of the 47 counties have been recommended for use in all the devolved units to enhance tax collection.
  • Treasury secretary Ukur Yatani said a multi-agency team comprising officers from the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), Commission on Revenue Allocation and the Council of Governors had recommended the two systems.

Two revenue systems currently in use by some of the 47 counties have been recommended for use in all the devolved units to enhance tax collection.

Treasury secretary Ukur Yatani said a multi-agency team comprising officers from the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), Commission on Revenue Allocation and the Council of Governors had recommended the two systems.

“The key finding on this report is that there are two county revenue systems that meet a significant number of required system features and the technical committee is exploring the possibility of enhancing one of the two county revenue systems to be rolled out to all the 47 county governments,” he said without providing detail.

The team was formed by President Uhuru Kenyatta in February 2019 and tasked with coming up with a Single Integrated County Revenue Management System.

Currently, counties and the national government use 11 different revenue systems, which are blamed for the low level of collections.

Revenue collection by counties for the year ended June dipped by Sh4.55 billion in the wake of restrictions imposed to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease, new data shows.

The Controller of Budget says Sh35.77 billion was raised in the period, reflecting an 11.2 per cent fall from Sh40.3 billion a year earlier.

The restrictions in the last quarter of the year hurt businesses where counties rake in billions from rates, cess and parking fees.

Kenya imposed a dusk-to- dawn curfew in March, banned movement in and out of four counties including Nairobi and Mombasa, and suspended international flights after recording the case of Covid-19 infection.

Counties that surpassed their targets include Homa Bay (154.6 per cent), Taita Taveta (128.7 per cent), Machakos (118.6 per cent), Lamu (108.9 per cent) and Bomet (100.3 per cent).

Kisii (38.3 per cent), Kajiado (39.1 per cent), Wajir (40.3 per cent), Siaya (42.7 per cent), Nandi (45 per cent) and Meru (46.5 per cent) revenue dropped.

Counties raise their revenue from land rates, market and trade licensing fees, parking fees, liquor licensing, entertainment and cess, among others.

The devolved units have missed revenue targets since 2013 in what has seen them rely on disbursements from the National Treasury to foot development projects like health and roads construction.

Corrupt officials who collude with businesses and motorists and weak resources to nab defaulters have also been blamed for the perennial misses in revenue targets across the counties.