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Daily Nation : January 29th 2014
DAILY NATION Wednesday January 29, 2014 ATHLETICS Farah, Radcliffe set for official opening of Lornah tartan track . P.55 SPORT INSIDE CHARGES | Senators criticise ministry for failing to speak up earlier FOOTBALL AGUERO BULLISH AS TITLE RACE GETS HOT Argentine striker vows to fire Pellegrini’s charges to title this season. P.59 County taxes illegal, says Treasury T Devolved units erred in failing to consult national government before imposing the new rates, says principal secretary Download the NMG PLAY app on Google Play and scan this QR code with your smart phone for pictures, videos and more stories. BY JOHN NGIRACHU @JohnNgirachu email@example.com he levies being charged by county governments are illegal and could hurt economic growth by increasing the cost of doing business, the National Treasury has said. The county governments erred by failing to consult the national government before implementing the new rates, Treasury Principal Secretary Kamau Thugge told the Senate’s Finance Committee yesterday. “We were not consulted by any of the counties. I also believe the Commission on Revenue Allocation was not consulted. It’s a matter that we would like to bring up for discussion,” said Dr Thugge after senators asked whether there had been any involvement by the Treasury. He said this was one of the teething problems of devolution. Even as he admitted this, the senators seemed to criticise the Treasury for failing to speak up earlier or to get the AttorneyGeneral to advise the devolved units before the damage was done. Dr Thugge said the Cabinet Secretary and the commission should be consulted so county governments don’t go out of ‘‘ We were not consulted by any of the counties. I also believe the Commission on Revenue Allocation was not consulted” Treasury Principal Secretary Kamau Thugge control when imposing levies. “We have done a lot of work in terms of improving the busi- The Treasury’s argument is also driven by the fact that the Constitution (Article 209) also states that the powers of counties to raise revenue should not be used in a way that “prejudices national economic policies or the national mobility of goods, services, capital or labour”. The increased rates and new levies have been the cause of demonstrations in counties across the country, with traders complaining that they have increased the cost of doing business. Fund development Devolved units have, however, argued that the new rates are for funding development and are legal because they were passed in the finance Bills of county assemblies. But Finance Committee chair- ness climate. You remember the issue of licensing reform, where we reduced a lot of licences in local authorities. We did not want a situation where we go back to those business-unfriendly policies,” said the PS. He said the Constitution gave county governments the power to impose “property taxes, entertainment taxes and any other tax that it is authorised to impose by an Act of Parliament”. man Billow Kerrow said that the Treasury should be in a position to advise the county governments that the Bills passed without consultation with the Cabinet secretary were illegal. He said the national gov- ernment’s laws overrode any other passed by the county assemblies. “If you don’t do that (have the rates suspended), the consequences are that we will have a serious disruption to the economy,” said Mr Kerrow.
January 28th 2014
January 30th 2014