A Finance act which allows Embu County Government to collect fees, charges, and rates, from almost every financial activity including traditional healers has started operation.
The Finance act 2014 has come into force after Embu County Acting Governor Dorothy Nditi assented to it after the county assembly passed it as a bill six days ago.
In the act almost every activity which is conducted in Embu County and through it by people from other countis has been placed under specified charges of some kind or fees.
These activities also include any kind of promotion or road show that a business man or company will conduct within the county.
Miraa Business which has turned to be a lucrative activity in the county and in which millions of shilling have been changing hands has also been targeted for levies amongst many commercial activities.
Following the enactment of the act traders who pay annual permits for trading licenses in different activities have been given a grace period of one month to with the deadline having been put as April 30 this year.
In the bill Traditional healers and herbalists will be charged an annual fee of sh5000 irrespective of the area they will be operating be it Embu town or other interior markets.
In the bill miraa (Khat) farmers and dealers within the county will part with inspection fee of sh50 per bundle and Sh500 per l car while pickups trucks less than 3 tonnes will pay sh900 each.
Miraa coming to the county from outside especially Meru will also pay inspection fee of sh50 per bundle, sh500 per car while pickup truck less than 3 tonnes will pay 900sh.
Traders dealing with Khat with tonnage exceeding 3 tones will pay 1400 for those producing it within the county.
In the act anybody who will advertise his products in promotions or carry out open sales or shows will not be allowed to do so free of charge but will have to pay for that.
A road show per day will cost the person conducting it sh10, 000, while a person who will be conducting a sales promotion or advertisement using a lorry will have to part with sh7000.
A trader or company which will wish to carry out an open promotion or advertisement of his products using a car in Embu County will have to pay sh4500.
A trader or company doing open sales promotion or a commercial promotion using four vans and over will be forced to pay sh10, 000
As for Kiosks operating within the county, owners will be charged between sh1500 to sh4000 depending on where they will be conducting their businesses.
Those distributing posters and handouts will not be spared either and will pay sh1000 per every 1000 they will distribute and sh500 for posters less than 500.
Hawkers without motor vehicles will pay sh3000 per while those hawking in vehicle will pay sh5000 within the county.
Debating on the bill and passage had been delayed after it generated a lot of heated debate with traders within the county terming the new rates as punitive and out to push out traders out of the county.
Since January business persons with trading premises have not been paying their permits owing to failure for passage of the bill but the county was only collecting fees at the bus parks, car parks and makets.