Nairobians set to pay more as tax increase proposed for parking, hawking, preaching, cemetery

Nairobi city residents are set to pay more for services from the county government if proposals in the county's Finance Bill are adopted.

The Bill sets out areas that the county will target as it seeks to increase revenue collection. 

The county's proposals will affect among other things, parking, market rates, and even mortuary and cemetery charges.

Michael Magu, a reformed street boy, ekes a life out of hawking sweets in Nairobi’s CBD where he says he makes about Ksh.150 on a good day, money that he says sustains him in the city.

 “Ni heri ninunue hii sweeti sooh, niingie hapa niuze kenye napata naridhika, nyumba inafaa ilipwe, nafaa kung'ara,” Magu said.

Currently, he says he pays, when he can, the hawking fees as charged by the county government at Ksh.30; this fee is set to go up if the proposed Nairobi County Finance Bill 2023 is passed. 

The Bill proposes a raft of measures aimed at raising Ksh.19.9 billion as their own revenue; Magu says this will drive him back to a life of crime on the streets.

“Naskia gava inadaisha watu walipe taxes, saa mii na hii sooh nikilipa nikama nafanyia tu gava job,” he said.

City residents are likely to feel the pinch if the proposed Bill becomes law; it contains a raft of proposals that will see the cost of living for Nairobians rise even more. 

Motorists accessing parking in the city will have to adjust their budgets as Governor Johnson Sakaja's government will increase the fees in non-automated areas within the CBD from Ksh.200 to 300 per day.

The county also seeks to introduce automated parking areas where motorists will pay Ksh.100 for the first hour, with a charge of Ksh.50 applied for every extra hour.

Tuk tuk, boda bodas, and scooters parking outside the CBD will pay a monthly fee of Ksh.1,000, while lorries measuring up to 5 tons will pay an annual fee of Ksh.112,500; those above 5 tons, an annual fee of Ksh.225,000, and non-PSV buses will pay Ksh.675,000 for on-street parking.

Preachers in the county government's managed parks will also have to pay for the privilege of using the facilities for their work with those preaching in Jevanjee parting with Ksh.500 to preach at lunchtime, while those using City Park will pay Ksh.1,000.

Trading in the county's markets will cost traders 10% more than they are currently paying, while the cost of running an alcohol-selling premises is set to double if the Bill is passed.

The cost of death in the city is also set to rise if and when the Bill passes. Services offered at the county's mortuary are set to go up right from storage of bodies, to internment with an adult's permanent grave now going for Ksh.30,500 and an infant costing Ksh.15,500.

City residents living in county houses will have to contend with higher rent as the Bill proposes a hike of between 10 and 25 per cent of the current rates depending on the location of the houses while introducing a Ksh.15,000 tenant purchase.

The Bill also introduces a fee for content creators filming in the city and its parks, with those wishing to shoot a music video in the refurbished Uhuru Park parting with Ksh.5,000 per hour, while commercial videos at the park will cost Ksh.10,000 per hour.

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