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Hospitality Association moves to court to stop new levies

A  Civil society organization and members of the Mombasa Bar owners, Hotels, Restaurants and Guesthouses Association have moved to court to challenge a levy hike by the Mombasa County Government, citing lack of Public Participation.

In their petition at the High Court in Mombasa on Monday, they argue that the Finance Act 2019 has made them to incur greater operational costs.

Appearing before High Court Judge, Justice Erick Ogola, the Commission for Human Rights and Justice and the members of the entertainment outlets association prayed for orders from the court to bar the Mombasa County government from implementing the new finance law which has doubled payments on liquor licenses and single business permit.

Through lawyer Maurice Mkan, they want a permanent injunction issued against the adoption of the new tariffs until the case they have presented is heard.

Mkan argued  that the bill  was published in the county gazette before it was presented to the County Assembly for deliberation and approval.

The  lawyer  said  the  new levies  have  also led to double taxation on several items  that  are  already  taxed by the

national government.

However, Justice Ogola declined stopping the implementation of the new levies until both parties are heard, saying giving  the orders sought will be an economic sabotage of revenue collection to the County Government of Mombasa.

Justice Ogola  gave Mombasa County government 14 days to file a reply on imposing of new levies without public participation and County Assembly adoption of the bill.

Addressing  the media outside Mombasa law courts the Association Secretary, Kennedy Mumbo said the increase in levies by 100 percent has hurt their business operations.

Mumbo  said their efforts to seek redress with Mombasa County Government finance executive proved futile.

By  Joseph  Kamolo

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