Senate, Treasury wants counties new taxes revoked
29 January 2014, 08:24
Nairobi - The Senate’s Committee on Finance, Commerce and Economic Affairs and the National Treasury say all new taxes introduced by county governments should be revoked since they are unconstitutional.
The senators, together with the treasury are now seeking legal opinion from Attorney General Githu Muigai in the efforts to revoke the taxes that have sparked riots in some counties on grounds thatthey were too high.
Speaking at a meeting with the committee on Tuesday, Principal Secretary of the National Treasury, Kamau Thugge, said none of the county governments consulted the National Treasury before making coming up with the new taxes.
For instance, in Kakamega County, there is a proposal impose tax on chicken a move that some residents say they will oppose it in the court, should the governor signs it into law, The Standard reports.
However, the Transitional Authority backed the move by some of the counties to increase new levies despite public outcry.
TA said for counties to grow economically they have to find their own means of getting revenue instead of depending on little funding allocated to them by the central government.
“It’s a must for county governments to get money from the people, the public wants the county government to construct roads and markets for them, where does this money come from,” said TA's chairman, Kinuthia Wamwangi.
He said the constitution stipulates on public participation on matters of county developments calling on the public to play their part.
He said there was need to put a proper engagement between the stakeholders, the public and the county governments before any new taxes are imposed on them.
“We urge the counties to properly follow the law, the constitution is clear that in every county development issue there should be public participation. Therefore the public must be involved and should agree on the decisions made," he said.
According to Wamwangi, the public should understand the importance of devolution and embrace it without complaining.
“The time to sit down and complain is over, people should participate and build devolution,'' he added.
However Kinuthia called on all county governments to consult all stakeholders before imposing any increments that would hurt the ordinary Kenyan.
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