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International Handbook of Land and Property Taxation

Edited by Richard M. Bird and Enid Slack

This comprehensive Handbook explores case studies of land and property taxation in 25 countries (five in each of five regions – OECD, central and eastern Europe, Asia, Africa, and Latin America), and focuses on the potential contributions of the property tax to the revenues of urban and rural governments and to more efficient land use.
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Chapter 14: Property Rates in Kenya

Roy Kelly


are currently levied only on land.3 Improvements (for example buildings and structures) are not taxed. In addition, most local authorities exclude ‘freehold’ land, agricultural land less than 12 acres, and indeed most private land in the area rating rolls.4 Public land (both central government land and council trust land) which is not yet ‘registered’ is also excluded from the private valuation roll – although technically this land should be listed on the public valuation roll and be liable for contributions in lieu of rates.5 In addition, allocated council trust land not yet registered is not liable for either rates or contributions in lieu of rates. Although the Rating Act allows LA(s) to choose various assessment approaches, in practice, all local authorities are using either area rating or valuation rating. Out of the 175 local authorities in Kenya, 102 levy a property tax. Of these 102 rating authorities, 75 use valuation rating and 55 use Property taxation in Kenya Table 14.2 Breakdown of property rating in Kenya, 2001 Number of rating authorities Number using valuation rating Number using area rating 179 Type of local authority councils Number using both area and valuation rating 9 9 11 29 Municipalities Towns Counties Total 36 27 39 102 36 24 15 75 8 12 35 55 Source: Ministry of Local Authorities, 2001. area rating, while 29 use a combination of both area and valuation rating. As Table 14.2 indicates, municipalities and towns tend to rely on valuation rating, while counties tend to use area...

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