Stop taxing us to death do hotels in Mombasa tell the county government


(Posted 15th September 2016)

The Mombasa county government has come under renewed fire from the operators of hotels and resorts over proposed tax demands for the next financial year.
The revived proposals in the draft budget appears to demand fees between 120 Kenya Shillings to 180 Kenya Shillings per room, whether occupied or not, besides a substantial increase in annual licence fees to 120.000 Kenya Shillings for what they call ‘large hotels‘.
Our recovery after several years of downturn is yet to take firm hold. During those years hotels were forced to close for lack of business. Those which stayed open struggled to meet their payments for utilities, taxes and wages. Paying suppliers has been a struggle. The national government takes a 2 percent levy from us and now the county wants to heap more tax burden on our sector which is financially bled out. At the tourism summit a few weeks ago at State House we warned of over taxation and yet, this county government promptly asks for more taxes. See this against their failures in service delivery and you can understand why we are fed up with their greed‘ ranted a regular hospitality source from the North coast of Mombasa, where most of the affected resorts are based.
Another doubted if it was even legal to tax what the national government is already taxing through their levy but conceded that this might need to be tested in court.
A third comment received blamed the situation squarely on the new constitution which, in his words, has created a new level of political eaters and wasters Kenyans’ did not foresee when they voted to implement new constitutional rules and political layers a few years ago but which, in his words, were now threatening to destroy the economic fabric of the country through extra tax demands.
The Kenya Association of Hotel Keepers and Caterers coast branch Executive Officer Mr. Ikwaye was also quoted as having opposed the charges and will probably lead the opposition by hotel operators against the new proposed fees.