The Nyandarua Governor, Francis Kimemia has denounced claims of a blanket tax increase to locals by the county government terming the claims as deliberate misrepresentation of information.
Consequently, Kimemia has accused a section of traders and local leaders with ill motives of giving false information on tax increase in a bid to incite residents against his administration.
While addressing the leadership of Ol Kalou Municipal business community, the governor said that there was no increase in market fees, boda boda licenses, kiosk rents, property rates, land rates, ground rents, cess, parking fees or health services fees.
“All these are services that have a direct impact on the common Mwananchi, hence the information on blanket increase is nothing but misrepresentation of facts,” he said.
The governor defended his administration, saying that 25 public participation meetings were held across the county, to gather views on the Finance Bill 2018 as per the Public Finance Management act of 2012.
“We took public participation meeting to every ward across the county. These meetings were publicly announced in both print and electronic media and even a section of those spreading the rumors on tax increase attended them and at some points attempted to disrupt the meetings,” he said, adding that it was the first time since 2015 that the county administration was reviewing the business licenses and fees.
While comparing the county fee charges with other counties in the Mount Kenya region, the Governor noted that Nyandarua’s were the lowest.
“For example, a distributor license in Nyandarua county costs Sh.13, 000 compared to Sh.27, 000 in Nyeri County. Also a small trader shop in Kiambu is charged Sh.3, 200 as compared to that of Nyandarua at Sh.2, 200,” cited the press release.
The governor said that despite misconceived calls for boycott of licenses payment, traders and rate payers are still flocking into their respective sub-county offices to pay their dues after the Department of Finance extended the license payment by 30 days to April 30, 2019 without slapping any penalties.
He added that the County Government was in the process of upgrading all major towns through a Sh.145 million grant by the World Bank which will be supplemented by the allocated county funds.
By David Kamere/James Thuku