The Star (Nairobi)

25 January 2014

Kenya: Nakuru to Review New Trade Taxes

THE Nakuru county government will review some of the new license fees contained in the Finance Bill 2013 passed by the assembly.

Governor Kinuthia Mbugua said it is evident that members of the public were not consulted when the finance bill was being crafted.

"Some of the issues raised by traders were genuine and need to be addressed so that we can work in harmony and be able to delivers services to the residents as expected," he said.

Mbugua was speaking during a consultative meeting with traders from the county in Nakuru town yesterday. He said that cash levied on bodaboda operators and those seeking family planning services are among levies that should be scrapped.

"I ask members of the county assembly to consider the issues that will be taken back to the assembly for review," Mbugu said. Traders said the levies in the county finance bill should classified according to the status of the trading centers.

They said charges in urban areas should be different from those in rural centres which have limited economic activities.

Subukia traders said it was wrong to lump them together with Naivasha and Molo towns which have major income generating activities.

The stakeholders meeting was convened following protests by residents and traders over high levied imposed by the finance bill.

"Traders in the town would not pay charges for firefighting until the county government acquires a fire engine," said Molo traders led by Muraya Marioko.

Among the charges that have raised eyebrows include the hiking of licenses for Mpesa operators from sh 4,000 to 9,000.

The governor defended the new charges. He said residents have to choose between paying the rates and lack of development. The stakeholders accused the county government of failing to consult them when coming up with the bill.

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