NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 9 – The Nairobi County Government on Tuesday commenced public hearings on the proposed valuation roll included in the draft Valuation and Rating Bill.
The weeklong hearings involve individuals, groups, corporate presentations to support or oppose the preparation of the new valuation roll.
A valuation roll is the official document used by local authorities to levy rates.
Should the Valuation and Rating Bill be enacted, property owners in Nairobi will also start paying more in land rates.
The current rates are based on valuations done 33 years ago after a draft valuation law was thrown out by the High Court in 2001.
This means that most properties developed after this roll was made remain unrated.
Once the proposed law comes into effect, religious and charitable organisations in Nairobi County will start paying rates.
It will further impose the charges on private schools, hospitals and residential commercial buildings developed by religious and charity organisations.
City Hall’s Deputy Chief Valuer, Gineth Magiri stated that the current Valuation and Rating law is outdated and this has resulted in the County Government losing a lot of money.
“This bill came into effect a long time ago during the colonial times when it was only the government that provided these services. For example we cannot charge religious institutions even if they set up commercial blocks,” she stated.
She pointed out that the proposed Bill seeks to draw a clear line from commercially profitable businesses done by civil organisations that earn revenue.
She stated that it however excludes land used for public religious worship, cemeteries, crematoria and burial grounds, public hospitals or other public institutions treating the sick.
She said that public institutions of basic education and training including residence of students, charitable institutions, museums and libraries, public outdoor and indoor sports; national parks and national reserves are also exempt as long as they are not used to generate profits.
“To avoid doubt, if the exclusive or dominant use of a rateable property is for a commercial purpose, the property is not an exempt rateable property,” she said.