Kakamega county government projects to raise 2 billion in its proposed 2021 Finance Bill that will ensure ease of running the county. Even though most of the existing charges were retained and others increased slightly, new fees may trigger protests by tracers and residents.

Some of the new charges the county has proposed include annual fees for businesses like supermarkets and filling stations. Others are for gold mining, gold refining and gold buying centres, private learning institutions, daycare centres, private morgues, motorcycles, tuk tuks, lorries, canters, trailers and bus companies, ambulance services and grain stores. Distributors will also have to pay the county government, unlike in the past when they paid nothing.

In the last financial year, the county collected Sh1.6 billion. The county assembly has invited the public to submit their views and memoranda on the bill on Monday at the county social hall in line with the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA).

Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry Kakamega branch chairman Wycliffe Kibisu said the county should reduce multiple licenses and revert to the original single business permit to spur growth. The chamber wants the county to come up with a plan for payment of licenses of up to six installments to avoid capital crunches for businesses and encourage SMEs growth. Small businesses will now pay Sh3, 500 up from Sh2, 000 last year in rural areas and Sh6, 000 up from Sh5, 000 in municipalities.

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