Kogi introduces land use charge, exempts poor, religious bodies, palaces

THE Kogi state government said it had commenced the processes of introducing the Land Use Charge in the state to further shore up the revenue accruing to it.

It, however, said the poor and vulnerable would not be affected by the development as any house valued below N1 million would not pay the tax.

The director of legal services, Kogi state internal revenue service, Isah Jamr, said this in Lokoja, the state capital at a one day sensitisation seminar organised in conjunction with David Gold and Company for administrators of local government on property tax.

According to him, the state was already compiling a bill to be sent to the state House of Assembly to provide for a single and consolidated tax on property that would be called Land Use Charge.

He stated that the new arrangement would enable the state and local government areas to harmonise the existing tenement rate and the ground rent under one system to be coordinated and collected by the state government.

Jamr said the state had proposed that commercial properties would pay 0.35 per cent of the total valuation of the property per annum, industrial premises 0.25 per cent and privately owned residential building would pay 0.20 per cent as land use charge.

He, however, explained that palaces of traditional rulers, churches, mosques and charitable structures would be exempted from the new tax system.

He added that the new arrangement would commence with the counting, enumeration and registration of the houses to be carried out by people to be employed on the basis of 10 per each of the 210 wards across the state.

The chairman of KSIRS, Alhaji Yakubu Oseni, said the state had been stagnant in terms of internally generated revenue because previous leaders had no political will to identify available potentials and put to proper usage.

He said the seminar was to co-opt the local government administrators in the reactivation of property tax that had been hitherto dormant.

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