Editorials

City Hall taxes unjustified

CityHall

City Hall. FILE PHOTO | NMG

While it is true that counties are supposed to do more to raise their own resources and cut dependence on the National Treasury, this should not be done in a way that overburdens taxpayers.

Nairobi, seeking to raise Sh15.5 billion, has proposed a raft of new taxes and levies that if approved will make life unbearable at a time families are reeling from the Covid-19 economic hardships.

The levies target nearly all facets of life in the city, including food, education, transport, and rent.

Recent reports have ranked Nairobi as among the most expensive cities in Africa and such taxes and levies will only serve to make life harder for residents.

Many residents have lost jobs or have been hit with pay cuts even as the expenditure on essentials such as food and rent soared.

City Hall is awash with cases of graft and wastage of billions of shillings amid deteriorating services such as security, water circulation and garbage collection.

It doesn’t have a strong case for increasing taxes and levies in an environment where current collections are doing so little to improve the lives of residents.

There is danger that the more resources it is seeking through the Nairobi City County Finance Bill will only go down the drain if the proposed legislation is assented to.