Counties’ income from business permits, rates rises 54pc
Counties own revenue collection from items like parking fees, business permits and land rates rose 54 percent or Sh2.6 billion in the three months to September as the devolved units embraced automation to avert pilferage.
The 47 devolved units collected Sh7.41 billion in the review period compared to Sh4.82 billion in a similar period a year earlier, data by the Controller of Budget shows.
More counties have over the recent past moved to automate their major revenue streams to stop theft of public resources that is rampant with the manual payment systems.
"During the reporting period, counties generated a total of Sh7.41 billion, which was 14.8 percent of the Sh50.06 billion annual target. This was an increase of 55 percent compared to Sh4.82 billion generated in a similar period of FY 2017/18," said Controller of Budget Agnes Odhiambo.
Counties have since devolution grappled with low own revenue collections and revenue leaks that have made the devolved units dependent on Treasury to meet their financial obligations.
The 47 counties collected Sh32.4 billion in the year to June against a target of Sh49.2 billion.
This was a marginal drop from Sh32.5 billion in an earlier year that ended June 2017.
The low collection and delayed releases from the Treasury have seen counties struggle to meet their financial obligations in good time, leading to an increase in pending bills. This has led to projects stalling, delayed workers’ salaries and frozen payments to suppliers, slowing down operations in the regional governments. Counties such as Nairobi, Narok, Kakamega, Kisii, Kiambu and Meru have automated their revenue collection systems to plug revenue loopholes, thus boosting local collection.
Taita Taveta increased its revenues more than four times (323 percent) recording the biggest leap in the review period followed by Kajiado (189 percent), Murang’a (148 percent) and Embu (135 percent). On the flipside, Mombasa, Kericho and Homa Bay, internally generated revenue dipped by Sh9.2 million, Sh1.16 million and Sh1.06 million respectively. In absolute terms, Nairobi generated the highest amount of own source revenue at Sh1.79 billion, followed by Narok and Nakuru at Sh1.19 billion and Sh543.56 million respectively.
Wajir, Tana River, and Lamu generated the lowest amounts at Sh12.69 million, Sh9.52 million and Sh6.35 million respectively.
Counties get their revenue from market and trade licensing fees, parking fees, land rates, liquor licensing, county parks, beaches and public cemeteries.
They also control licensing of domestic animals and casinos.
Nairobi County headquarters.