Nairobi County government is about to reduce its citizens into paupers. Governor Sonko’s promise to reduce various levies paid by city residents and businesses to encourage compliance and grow the revenue basket is gradually becoming a one-sided affair.
Sonko’s administration is suggesting that residents should start paying for fire certificates, garbage collection and inspection of the health of their pets to finance the county government’s Sh35.2 billion annual budget.
“The demand for services by far outmatches the ability of the county to deliver, partly because a majority of the county’s population enjoy the services without contributing any amount as fees or charges,” said County Finance and Economic Planning Executive Charles Kerich during the presentation of the budget.
The County’s Finance Bill 2019 proposes that all households in the city pay a fire certificate fee of Ksh2,000 per annum in addition to new monthly garbage collection charges of Ksh100 for informal settlements, Ksh300 for middle-class estates and Ksh600 for high-end suburbs and the few intending to keep pets will be charged Ksh1,000 health inspection fee among many other new taxes.
Looking at its Ksh35.2 billion city residents will be contributing Ksh 17.32 billion through taxes, levies and other charges. The county government is estimated to make least Ksh3 billion in fire certifications from the 1.5 million houses within. Fire Certificate for gas vendors will be fetching at least Ksh 30,000 from the current Ksh 4500 while fast food joint will be parting with a whooping Ksh 12,000 from Ksh 6000 for the same.
The monthly garbage fee, reintroduced to the public will see primary and secondary schools pay between Sh3,000 and Sh20,000 depending on whether the institution is public or private while universities and colleges will be paying a range of between Sh20,000 and Sh200,000 depending on the number of registered students.
Property owners together with operators of guest houses, hotels, shops and other businesses, are among the many trapped in the Bill.