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Kiambu Assembly receives petition to scrap agricultural land Rates

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Real Estate Stakeholders (RESA) Kiambu County have petitioned to Kiambu County Assembly seeking the scrapping of rates on land being used for agriculture.

The stakeholders want agricultural freehold titles be exempted from being reputable and that the payment of rates not to be used as a measure of approval for agriculture land subdivision, reparcellation and re-assignment, road exception and partitioning.

In their petition, RESA stated that it is inhuman and untenable for individuals who own agricultural land in the county to pay the unrealistic taxes.

They have called on the county to undertake proper public participation involving all stakeholders in the land sector to express their views on the issue of rates and valuation roles.

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According to RESA, the assembly should relook into the 2016 finance Act and expunge from the harsh sections which the stakeholders state that they dehumanize and curtail the curtail the ordinary citizens from owning freehold property.

“Kiambu Citizens are suffering like other Kenyans in the 46 counties and they cannot afford to have freehold property that they own as they are liable to payment of rates. The action of county government demanding tax from freehold property is inhiman and untenable.” The petition reads in part.

It was revealed by the real estate stakeholders that the County Executive Committee Member for Fianance has never published in the newspapers since 2016 when the Fiance Act came into law the dates when the rates should be paid.

According to the 2016 Finance Act for Kiambu County, unpaid rates attract a simple interest of 1.5 per cent per month.

Currently, Kiambu County is charging 3 per cent on the basis of site value rather than zoning value.

The rate value is added to the rate of any improvement.

“It is our prayer that the county assembly intervenes and that no rates are payable on Agricultural land to avoid over burdening of people with taxes and that all agricultural freehold titles be exempted from paying rates.” The petition added.

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