You will soon start paying levies to rear animals in Mombasa city, if the County Assembly adopts the proposed 2018/2019 Finance Bill.
According to the Bill, the urban county government will start licensing rearing of poultry and cattle.
Dairy cattle and camels will be charged Sh1,000 per head, goats and sheep Sh200 per head annually. Poultry of up to 200 birds will cost Sh200 per head, while birds above 200 will be charged Sh100 per flock. Dogs or cats will cost Sh200 per flock annually.
This is a major setback to residents who have resorted to urban farming by rearing domestic animals, especially goats and poultry, to supplement income.
There are more than 200 poultry farmers in the county.
“Are they lacking ideas? The essence of taxation is to get revenue to prosper a particular sector. So how is taxing a small farmer rearing chicken going to help them generate money to assist that particular sector?” asked Sam Ikwaye, a poultry farmer.
He urged governor Hassan Joho to find ways to encourage youth and women to venture into agriculture to supplement income and employment.
“Taxing rearing of poultry is time wasting, lack of creativity and meant to slow down the economic activities of the youth, women and particularly vulnerable population who are trying to eke a living from agriculture,” added the farmer.
Mr Ikwaye, an urban farmer who rears ornamental birds and kienyeji chicken in Bamburi, said there are many revenue streams that the county has failed to tap to boost revenue
A goat farmer John Gunga said it is ironical that Governor Joho asked President Uhuru Kenyatta to suspend the 16 per cent value added tax on petroleum products to cushion Kenyans from the high cost of living yet he is introducing new taxes.
On Saturday, hundreds of residents thronged Tononoka Social Hall to plead with the county administration to review some of the proposed levies that are bound to hurt small businesses.
Other new levies in the agricultural sector include Sh60,000 for small agriculture-producer/processor/dealer/exporter from one to four employees, Sh5,000 for slaughterhouse for both goats and cows and Sh3,000 for chicken slaughter house.