Push For Individual-Apartment Owners To Pay Land Rates in Nairobi.

Render Of An Apartment in Nairobi

Governor Johnson Sakaja is spearheaded a comprehensive reform of the city’s land rate laws to ensure that all property owners, particularly those of apartments and offices, fulfill their financial obligations. Central to this reform is the full implementation of the Sectional Properties Act, 2020. This legislation simplifies the process for owners to acquire title deeds for individual units, thereby facilitating easier collection of land rates.

In an ambitious fiscal initiative, Nairobi City County has set its sights on collecting Sh20 billion from land rates. This significant push aims to make Nairobi the first county in Kenya to fully fund its budget through internally generated revenue.

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The Act and its subsequent regulations from 2021 allow for the division of buildings into sectional properties, each capable of being individually titled and rated. This move is expected to drastically increase compliance and efficiency in rate collection. Governor Sakaja highlighted the need for such reforms, stating, “We aim to correct past oversights in urban planning and enhance our revenue collection mechanisms.”

According to Nairobi’s records, the county hosts 197,500 parcels of land, but only 30,000 have been actively contributing to land rates. In collaboration with the national government, the county has identified an additional 350,800 parcels for individual billing, substantially increasing the potential revenue base.

Despite aiming for Sh7 billion in land rates for the current fiscal year, Nairobi has collected a mere Sh637 million as of last December. However, with the revised legislative framework and enhanced compliance measures, Nairobi is optimistic about meeting its ambitious target.

The effort to overhaul the land rates system includes overcoming several challenges, such as legislative delays and the need to replace an outdated valuation roll. The county is investing in Geographic Information System (GIS) technology, funded by a Sh374 million grant from the World Bank, to develop a new, more accurate valuation roll. This technology is expected to streamline the land rating process, making it faster, more accurate, and less prone to errors.

These initiatives signify a major stride towards fiscal autonomy for Nairobi, setting a benchmark for other counties in Kenya to improve their own revenue collection through more effective land rate systems.

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Gideon Mburugu

Real Estate Agent & A.I Consultant

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