Economy

City Hall slaps new levies on residents

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City Hall, headquarters of the Nairobi county government. FILE PHOTO | NMG

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Summary

  • New charges for environment, supermarket carrier bags and parking.
  • These include a rise in land rates, new gambling levy, a towing charge for parking defaulters and an increase in outdoor advertising fees.
  • But mama mbogas (vegetable vendors) operating in the estates have emerged as beneficiaries of the budget

City Hall has introduced an environmental levy for all homes, a fee for supermarket carrier bags, and a charge for parking in selected private properties in a raft of levies aimed at funding its budget starting Sunday.

Nairobi Tuesday unveiled its revenue raising plans for the financial year starting July that will also see a rise in land rates, new gambling levy, a towing charge for parking defaulters and an increase in outdoor advertising fees.

The new fees and levies will help Governor Mike Sonko's government raise its annual revenues to Sh15 billion, up from the Sh8.2 billion it is expected to raise in the year ending Saturday.

City Hall has a budget of Sh32 billion, indicating that it intends to rely on the central government to fund more than half of its budget as it heaves under a bloated workforce.

“I will be reviewing the fees and charges for a number of revenue streams with a view for…efficient collection,” Nairobi County acting Finance executive Charles Kerich said yesterday.

Mr Kerich did not give the specifics of the tariffs rise, saying they will be contained in a Finance Bill, which was not available this story was being published.

READ: What Nairobians expect from governor-elect Sonko

READ: Nairobi residents spared new higher fees

Beneficiaries

But mama mbogas (vegetable vendors) operating in the estates have emerged as beneficiaries of the budget after City Hall scrapped a Sh25 daily charge.

"Since the ban on plastic bags, many supermarkets are charging their customers for shopping carrier bags. Supermarkets that charge shoppers for bags will be required to pay a fee,” said Mr Kerich.

Homes and businesses will pay an environmental waste management charge to aid in keeping the city clean.

"Many Nairobi residents are being subjected to parking charges in various premises like shopping malls, supermarkets and hospitals. I will be proposing a fee for all private parking spaces that charge their customers hourly parking rates," Mr Kerich.

Property owners face higher annual land rates. "Land rates in Nairobi were last reviewed in 1982. In order to bring the rates charged to realistic market values, I shall be proposing a review of rates charges," said the acting finance head.

City Hall is also seeking a piece of the gambling billions through a levy, arguing that lotteries and gaming is a devolved function.