Mombasa property owners urged to comply and pay taxes on time

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Mombasa County lands department has appealed to land owners to avoid enforcement of penalties due to evading or delays in paying the annual land rates.

Speaking to the media, the County Executive Committee Member for Lands, Physical Planning, Housing and Urban Renewal Mohammed Hussein said that as per the law, the annual land rates should be paid by January 1 of every year. He however added that they extended the grace period to enable those who have not yet paid their dues to do so before the end of March, this year.

He said failure to adhere to the given deadline, a penalty of 3 percent of the land rate due will accrue monthly.

The CEC noted that over the last four months the office has not received the statutory revenue allocation from the National Treasury thus the need to spearhead the importance of revenue collection in the county which supports in service delivery.

“Devolution has provided us the opportunity to generate our own revenue to fund our development. Land rate collection is one of the own source revenue streams that will enable the county to finance development projects and enhance service delivery for all,” said Hussein.

He said the department of lands is in the process of updating the land valuation roll and awaiting the outcome of the valuation matter currently in court.

Hussein advised developers to update their payments before the deadline so as not to pay the new land rates in this annual cycle.

The CEC stated that the current valuation roll has been there since 1991 adding that for the last 30 years, Mombasa has significantly developed into one of Kenya’s key urban cities hence updating the valuation roll for all property will enable the administration to carry out better urban planning and increase revenue collection of land rates that will go into service delivery.

He said that there are claims of people engaging in fraudulent clearances of due land rates with or sometimes without the knowledge of landowners warning that the department will publish a list of all the affected parcels of land.

The CEC further requested all the affected landowners to provide an official payment receipt issued by the county government with a bank or an M-pesa payment transcript as proof within seven days of the public notice advertisement.

“We are serious on this one, if one fails to adhere to the notice, we shall have no option but to revoke the land rates clearance and reverse figures to the original default sum,” he said.

He noted that, the department has put in place measures to catch the officials who are fraudulently dealing with landowners vowing to make them face the law as they breach the code of accountability and transparency in the department.

Hussein said the introduction of the E-service portal will help eliminate fraud thus urging land owners to take advantage of the portal to pay their dues.

He said the county in collaboration with the Ministry of Lands aims at providing digital land services that will enhance and streamline land transactions for property owners.

“Some contractors have not been adhering to the Physical Planning Act by not conforming to the architectural and structural drawing approved by the county engineer and contractors not putting safety hazards. Additionally, all developers should provide a bio digester or other approved sewerage management technology unless officially connected to the county sewer line,” added Hussein.

By Chari Suche

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