Nakuru land owners cry foul over ‘illegal’ rates

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[Source: Daily Nation, by Francis Mureithi]

Nakuru County Assembly has endorsed a petition by 25 land owners in Shabab on illegal land rates and ordered Finance executive Peter Ketyenya to harmonise the rates.

The assembly Lands, Housing and Physical Planning committee report said the erroneous rates so far paid by the aggrieved land owners should be transferred to the subsequent years to clear the pending arrears.

Land owners along John Momanyi Road had petitioned the assembly to intervene over illegal annual land rates charged on their land.

They had also appealed to the county assembly to compel the Finance executive to waive the accumulated penalties.

In a written submission tabled in the House, the petitioners said that their 50 by 100 plots were being charged Sh66,800 annual land rates.

Land owners along Government road whose plots measured approximately half an acre paid Sh22,000.

The petitioners further submitted that land owners in the same area who owned quarter of an acre plots were paying annual land rates of between Sh16,000 and Sh18,720

They submitted that other land owners in the neighbourhood with similar sizes of land were being charged between Sh6,006 and Sh8,840.

They said that they had tried in vain to have the rates reviewed but their talks with the Lands, Housing and Physical Planning executive Frank Mwangi had borne no fruits.

Documents tabled at the assembly showed that the Lands executive did not provide any reasons why there were huge discrepancies in land rates.

Due to the discrepancies, the land owners had accrued unpaid rates arrears of between Sh400,000 and Sh3 million, putting their property at the risk of being auctioned for non-payment of land rates.

The land owners said that the valuation roll of 2005 had undervalued some of their properties.

The committee on Lands, Housing and Physical Planning led by Maai Mahiu MCA Stephen Ng’ethe Chege called for harmonisation of land rates.

The Lands committee now recommends that Lands executive should fast-track the enactment of legislation on Valuation and Rating to enhance equity in rates across the county.

[Full article: Daily Nation, by Francis Mureithi]


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