Friday, March 09, 2018 10.00PM / Proshare WebTV
The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, has called on the Lagos State Government to suspend its recently re-enacted “Land Use Charge Law 2018” and the rates, until grey areas in the law are resolved.
President of the LCCI Mr Babatunde Runsawe, FCA made this statement at the stakeholders dialogue on the law.
He commended Governor Akinwunmi Ambrose for his openness to dialogue on the issue, but reminded the government that businesses can only thrive in a tax friendly environment.
Speaking further Runsawe said some of the concerns in the law are tax rates on the properties, that have been reviewed on the high side; ranging from 200% to 500%.
Runsawe tasked the Lagos State Government to widen its property tax net beyond the 300,000 active ones and also called for a reworking of the compliance procedure and timeline for payments.
According to him “Some key provisions in the law need to be normalized in the interest of fairness, equity and natural justice.The entire process also needs to be brought in alignment with democratic norms and ideals”.
Also speaking at the forum Mr Timothy Olawale of the Organized Private Sector said the process of reviewing the law did not meet the least practice in legislative procedure.
Assessing the law Mr Olawale stressed that in the old one, there was the provision for the government to review the applicable law every 5 years.
He asserted that the government’s negligence should not be visited on the residents, through the astronomical review of the Land Use Charge.
On the review of the Land Use Charge, he said any increase above 100% which actually amounts to doubling the current rate is unacceptable.
The Commissioner for Finance Mr Akinyemi Ashade, FCA in his presentation informed stakeholders that the Land Use Charge 2018 Law was a consolidation of three tax rates namely; tenement rate, ground rent and neighbourhood improvement, to enhance convenience.
Mr Ashade said the law was due for review since 2001, due to its opaque nature and has been reviewed to a level that is fair to everyone.
He said the calculation for the Land Use Charge was market value x relief rate x annual charge rate, and was considerate to property owners.
The Commissioner also shared that in the new Land Use Charge Law, there was provision for a help desk and a mediation process to resolve issues that arise from the tax rates.
Stakeholders in their contributions tasked the Lagos State Government, to follow global practices were property tax rates increase do not exceed the 5% mark.
3. Download the New Lagos Land Use Charge Act HERE