Omtatah Urges Kenyans to Engage in Public Participation on Finance Bill 2024

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Vihiga Senator Okiya Omtatah has issued a rallying call to Kenyans to meticulously scrutinize the newly unveiled Finance Bill, 2024, and submit their proposals.

Noted for his public interest litigation, Omtatah explains that Kenyans have a constitutional opportunity to voice their opinions before the bill’s proposals are enacted.

“Public awareness is great, a step in creating any type of change…I encourage everyone to take keen interest and look at the proposals,” he states.

Omtatah also challenges Kenyans to communicate their ideas to their elected representatives.

Challenging those in authority, the senator highlights the importance of recognizing problems and implementing substantive changes to address them.

Omtatah stresses the importance of Kenyan citizens participating in decisions that impact the country’s future.

“We must be willing to get involved in the direction that we want the country to take through proposing and creating solutions rather than merely highlighting problems and do not be afraid to call into question the status quo,” Omtatah asserts.

In today’s session, the chairperson of the Departmental Committee on Finance and National Planning is expected to propose a procedural motion to shorten the publication period of the draft bill from seven days to four.

The Finance Bill, 2024, released on May 9, will undergo public participation procedures thereafter.

Containing tax proposals, the bill aims to generate revenue to fund the Kenya Kwanza government’s ambitious projects.

The Treasury aims to increase tax revenue by Kes. 323 billion for the upcoming fiscal year starting in July.

Overall, the government aims to collect Kes.2.94 trillion in taxes in the next fiscal year, up from Kes.2.62 trillion in the current year.

Finance Bill 2024 Proposals

Among the proposals are the introduction of VAT on bread and hikes in excise taxes on M-Pesa, airtime, bank transfers, spirits, and cigarettes.

The Bill also seeks to raise taxes on motorcycle imports, betting, and payments from government supplies or tenders.

The 2024 Finance Bill introduces a new motor vehicle circulation tax, requiring motorists to pay up to Kes.100,000 annually to keep their vehicles on the road.

In addition, the Finance Bill 2024 proposes a 2.5 percent annual tax on the value of vehicles, with a deduction based on make, model, engine capacity, and year of manufacture.

This motor vehicle tax must be paid upon issuing an insurance cover, with a minimum of Kes.5,000 and a maximum of Kes.100,000 per vehicle.

This means second-hand cars, which were averaging between Kes.4 million and Kes.4.4 million in February, will attract the maximum tax of Kes.100,000, potentially decreasing only if subsequent valuations decline.

Furthermore, insurers are required to collect and remit the motor vehicle tax within five working days after issuing an insurance cover.

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