Relief for Nairobi residents as MCAs reduce levies
Nairobi Ward Representatives have approved a heavily amended Finance Bill, 2018, that slashed some hefty levies while abolishing others altogether.
The biggest gainers are city motorists who will start paying a parking fee of Sh200, should Governor Mike Sonko assent the Bill.
Street preachers have also been spared a Sh1, 000 daily charge for preaching at city and central parks.
The reduction of the parking fee charges was necessitated by poor compliance by motorists who prefer to connive with parking attendants to pay less.
“As late as yesterday only thirty percent of motorist paid for parking. People opt to corrupt the attendants with Sh100 and risk being clamped… by reducing the fee to Sh200 we are confident motorists will now pay to avoid being clamped,” said Mr Robert Mbatia, chairman of the Budget and Appropriation committee.
The MCAs also scrapped Governor Sonko’s proposed garbage collection fee of between Sh100 to Sh500 every month depending on location within the city.
Governor Sonko now has fourteen days to assent the Bill failure to which it becomes law.
City Hall had proposed a raft of new levies and increased charges in its bid to raise revenue to finance its Sh34 billion budget.
The proposed budget had a deficit of Sh2 billion.
Levies proposed by Sonko included charging owners of learning institutions between Sh3, 000 and Sh65, 000 per month for garbage collection. MCAs scrapped the proposal.
Under the new Bill, bar and restaurants, fast food joints, milk bars, posho mills and juice parlor businesses will pay only Sh1, 000 for food handlers certificate.
Bar and restaurant owners currently pay Sh7, 000 for the certificate, while the rest pay between Sh2, 000 and 3,000.
Those hit hard by the Bill are owners of taxi-hailing services. They will now be required to pay between Sh50, 000 and Sh300, 000 per year as operational license fee depending the the size of their fleets.
Uber, Taxify, Little Cab and other companies with a fleet of over 100 vehicles will be required to pay Sh300, 000 per year.
Those with a fleet of between 51 to 100 vehicles will part with Sh100, 000, whereas those with less than 50 vehicles will pay a yearly fee of Sh50, 000.
DRIVERS NOT AFFECTED
Mr Mbatia explained that the charge will be levied on the taxi-hailing company and not on the drivers of the cabs.
“As it currently stands, the taxi- hailing app companies do not pay any operational licenses. For example Uber has an office in Westlands thus it will be required to pay the fee depending on the number of vehicles it has under it. The charge is fair especially considering it is yearly,” said the Kariobangi South MCA.