Friday, 16 March 2018

Hike in Land Use Charge Rate: Ambode Soft-pedal, Reduce Charges, PDP Kicks

 Image result for governor Ambode
Lagos state government yesterday soft-pedals over hike in land use charge rates that was reviewed upward by its state house of Assembly.  The land use charge (LUC) rate outcome has attracted public outcry which eventually led to Lagos state taking the decision of reducing it as People Democratic Party kicks, saying the governor should revert to the old rate instead

 Briefing  journalists, Lagos state commissioner of finance, Mr Ashade said  commercial property owners, who are undoubtedly the stakeholders most impacted  by this amended law will be granted 50 percent discount, while property occupied by owners and third party and property used for industrial and manufacturing purposes will now enjoy 25% discount
He added that owner-occupied properties would enjoy 15 percent discount.
The commissioner said the penalty regime for late payment of LUC has been waived completely.
Ashade also announced that the state government would give tax credits for LUC charges already paid, besides allowing instalment payment.
“Other rates and reliefs, apart from the ones stated above, will remain unchanged and will be implemented as stipulated by the Law. These include 40 percent general relief, 10 percent for 70 years and above, 10 percent for properties owned by persons living with disability and 10 percent for properties that are 25 years old.’’
The Commissioner for Justice, Adeniji Kazeem, said the LUC Law has provision for dispute resolution and the state has set up a tribunal in Ikeja to handle disputes that may arise from the payment of LUC. He also said that there are plans to set up four other tribunals, which has got the governor’s consent so that each division of Lagos would have a tribunal for dispute resolution.
Meanwhile, the Lagos chapters of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)  have called on Governor Akinwunmi Ambode to revert to the old Land Use Charge (LUC) rate, saying the 50 percent reduction is still on a high side for the masses.
Speaking with urban express news-online yesterday, the State chairman of the PDP, Mr Moshood Elsalvador accused Governor Ambode of insensitivity to the plight of the citizens and also expressed shock over the administration’s desperation for money without considering the implications on the masses.

He faulted the 50 percent reduction as being on the high side, saying that in a simple arithmetic formula, those living in highbrow areas and whose property is valued at about N40 million and above would still have paid high LUC. The same thing is applicable to those having property in less expensive locations.

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