NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 4 – The Chairman of the Central Kenya Chapter of the Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM), Rajan Shah, has said they are open to taxes levied in counties on condition that they are engaged in determining what will be taxed, the amounts and how the taxes collected will be channelled.
“Implement a service level agreement to determine what is taxable. If the public is involved in agreeing the levels at which the figures are reached, and if the public is shown the value for the money collected, then Kiambu will sure prosper,” he said.
Kiambu Executive Committee member for Finance and Economic Planning Mary Nguli however assured Shah and the various stakeholders who attended the launch of the county’s medium term expenditure public hearings on Monday that the government was indeed committed to engaging them in the budgetary process.
“This is the first time the public is involved in the budget process and it will go a long way in promoting transparency in Kiambu. We value the public opinion and this is a process that cannot happen in isolation,” she assuaged.
There has recently been a lot of controversy surrounding taxes levied at the county level with National Treasury and Senate agreeing that taxes levied at the county level risk scaring off investors.
Mombasa, Nairobi, Meru and Kiambu counties have also been rocked by protests as vendors decry an increase in the operating levies charged by their governments.
In the case of Kiambu however, Governor William Kabogo blamed the protests on his political detractors who he blamed for attempting to sabotage the county’s economy.
“It is so unfortunate that some politicians are stooping as low as hiring goons to distract the development of our county. We will take the people behind the looting and the demonstrations to court because those are sideshows,” he said.
In the meantime the county government continues to hold the medium term expenditure public hearings in its 12 sub-counties until Friday.
The hearings bring together representatives of KAM, the Central Kenya Chapter of the Kenya National Chambers of Commerce and Industrialization and the public.