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Governors Should Use Their Constitutional Taxation Powers to Raise Development Money

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Unpaved County Road servicing several plots. Unpaved County Road servicing several plots.

Rather than Governors keep talking of referendum to ask National Government to raise more revenue so they can get 45%; Governors should use their constitutional powers to raise revenue. Kenya Constitution sets 6 ways of getting the taxation budget. 4 ways assigned to National Government and 2 ways to County Governments.

209. (1) Only the national government may impose— (a) income tax; (b) value-added tax; (c) customs duties and other duties on import and export goods; and (d) excise tax.

209 (3) A county may impose— (a) property rates; (b) entertainment taxes. 

Raising Money From Land Property Rates.

To be able to meet the following functions the county can raise money from land property rate. For example at a rate of Kshs 5,000 per acre in a county like Bomet County with land of about 470,000 acres the County would be able to raise more than Kshs 2 billion every year to meet the following functions per fourth schedule:  

5. County transport, including— (a) county roads; (b) street lighting;

11. County public works and services, including— (a) storm water management systems in built-up areas; and (b) water and sanitation services.

12. Fire fighting services and disaster management.

It is the properties that are serviced with county roads that should pay for the paving and development of the infrastructure needed.

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