Listen to the concerns of Eastleigh traders


Carpets on sale in Nairobi’s Eastleigh. FILE PHOTO | LINET OWOKO | NMG

Traders in the Eastleigh business district are the latest group of business people to complain about the negative impact of increased taxes.

Eastleigh Business Traders Association chairperson Hajj Hassan says that tax on a container of imported items such as electronics, textiles, shoes, and cosmetics has hit Sh3 million, up from Sh1.7 million in 2017.

He says the increase of taxes twice this year alone —from Sh2.8 million to Sh3 million per container in June, and from Sh3 million to Sh4.4 million per container in July — is hurting businesses. Granted, everyone must pay taxes but over-taxation of the Kenyans may be counterproductive.

But where there are valid reasons, the government should listen to taxpayers and find ways to ease the burden of paying many levies. The authorities need to revisit the tax issue before it is too late.

Let us not wait for too long when investors have been scared away, Kenyans have been discouraged to work, save, and innovate, and economic growth has been stifled.