High Court al­lows Mom­basa County to col­lect cess

Business Daily (Kenya) - - SHIPPING & LOGISTICS - by BRIAN WASUNA bwa­suna@ke.na­tion­media.com

The High Court has al­lowed Mom­basa County to charge and col­lect cess on goods off­loaded within its bound­aries.

High Court Judge Eric Ogola has ruled that the Mom­basa County Fi­nance Act, 2014, pro­vides for the col­lec­tion of cess on goods off­loaded and sold within its bound­aries, dis­miss­ing a suit filed by Coast Cal­cium Limited which had chal­lenged the fee.

Coast Cal­cium had claimed that the county gov­ern­ment was ex­pos­ing it to dou­ble tax­a­tion since it also pays cess to Kwale County where the firm mines lime.

The firm added that Mom­basa’s Fi­nance Act bars the col­lec­tion of cess on un­re­fined prod­ucts.

But Jus­tice Ogola ruled that a pe­rusal of Mom­basa’s laws clearly showed that the county is al­lowed to levy and col­lect cess and of­fload­ing charges on ve­hi­cles en­ter­ing and dis­charg­ing prod­ucts.

The judge added that Coast Cal­cium’s ad­mis­sion of sale of its prod­ucts within Mom­basa means that the firm also off­loads lime in the county.

“I have care­fully pe­rused the two Acts and found that the Mom­basa County Fi­nance Act, 2014, does pro­vide for the pay­ment of cess and of­fload­ing charges.

‘‘The al­le­ga­tion by the pe­ti­tioner that cess fee is not pro­vided for in the Act is

I have pe­rused the two Acts and found that... they pro­vide for the pay­ment of cess and o load­ing charges,” ERIC OGOLA | HIGH COURT JUDGE

there­fore un­true. Coast Cal­cium has not ten­dered any ev­i­dence to show that all its ve­hi­cles car­ry­ing its goods are on tran­sit.

‘‘There­fore, it is clear that cess is payable by the pe­ti­tioner where ve­hi­cles car­ry­ing its goods off­load within Mom­basa County,” Jus­tice Ogola ruled.

Coast Cal­cium had also claimed that there was no pub­lic par­tic­i­pa­tion prior to pass­ing and en­forc­ing county laws.

But Jus­tice Ogola agreed with Mom­basa County’s ar­gu­ments that an­other judge, Mathew Emukule, had ear­lier ruled that there was pub­lic par­tic­i­pa­tion be­fore the laws were passed.

Jus­tice Emukule’s rul­ing fol­lowed a suit filed by Milly Glass Works which had chal­lenged the Mom­basa County Fi­nance Acts of 2013 and 2014.

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