Government Moves to Net Land Rates Evaders
The government has moved to reign on landowners who evade tax after developing a digital database of all property owners in the country.
The move was revealed by President Uhuru Kenyatta yesterday during a breakfast meeting with business players at State House, Nairobi. He said that the government has been mapping all public and private property in the country using satellite imagery.
“We have begun mapping the country from a geospatial point of view, and the exercise will be conducted in all counties. We have completed the exercise in Nairobi, and we will be releasing the results soon,” said Uhuru.
According to the President, the exercise in Nairobi has so far revealed that only 150,000 out the 1.5 million property owners pay land rates, thus burdening a few people in tax filing.
The government has of late increased its focus on tax collection to fund the ambitious Big Four Agenda that the Jubilee administration promised to deliver by the end of this term.
It, therefore, sees a honeypot in land rate payments as it is a significant source of revenue for county governments alongside parking fees, business permits, and other levies.
For instance, the Nairobi County 2018 Fiscal Strategy Paper, revealed that the county generated Sh10.2 billion in land rates revenue over the last four financial years. This means that tens of billions in unpaid land rates that the government loses each year.
The database that government is developing will have the details of every property owners linked to the lands registry as well as e details at the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA).
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