Governor Mike Sonko’s Sh35.2 billion annual budget is about to siphon all the resources from residents and property owners in Nairobi County. According to the Finance and Economic Planning Executive Charles Kerich, the demand for services by far outmatches the ability of the county to deliver, partly because the majority of the county’s population enjoy the services without contributing any amount as fees or charges.
While reading budget estimates for the 2019/2020 financial year, Kerich announced new taxes and levies whose details will be revealed in the county’s Finance Bill that is set to be tabled before the County Assembly at a later date. The new levies are intended to raise Sh17.32 billion in internal revenue for the capital, a much higher target compared to slightly over Sh10 billion in internal revenue in the 2018/2019 financial year.
“The good proposals cannot be realised unless the county can be on overdrive to collect Sh17.32 billion projected from internal sources of revenue in the coming financial year. The county shall focus on addressing challenges that hamper optimal revenue collection,” he said.
Among those roped up in the budget are owners of online businesses operating in the city. Many Kenyans have been making the most out of the digital space in growing their businesses and getting job opportunities.
Others include Hotel owners who will start being charged for every bed in their facilities. The new levy set to be known as city bed-occupancy levy will see City Hall carry out a census to determine the number of beds in hotels across the county.
Businesses, households and schools will start paying new charges for the management of their solid wastes. Gambling and entertainment establishments will now be in the county’s tax bracket starting July 1 and property owners will from next year also pay increased charges, based on the new valuation of real estate across different parts of the city.
While at it, Nairobians should brace themselves for higher packing fee, now that the amendments made last year have drastically reduced revenue collections from daily parking and increased congestion within the CBD.