In a swift response to public pressure, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode may have moderated his recent move to launch a harsh tax regime in Lagos State. The Governor made strenous effort to brag, lie and argue his ways through the unpopular move but met with stiff opposition essentialy from social media activists. One week after initiating the “we are ready for dialogue” moves, it is reported widely today that the Lagos State Government has reduced its land use charges. Details are as follows:
LASG REDUCES LAND USE CHARGE
• Cut commercial charges by 50%,
• Reduces charges for Owner-occupier with 3rd party including industries and manufacturing concerns by 25%
• Waives Penalty for Late Payments across board
• Gives tax credits for LUC charges already paid
• Introduces Instalmental Payment System
The Lagos State Government, in its desire to build world class infrastructure and improve the well-being of its citizens reviewed the Land Use Charges payable by all property owners. This exercise was received with mixed feelings by various interest groups who expressed serious concerns.
In line with this administration’s tradition of inclusive governance and civic engagement, and as a Government that is committed to the welfare of its citizens and understands the importance of continuously engaging the populace, we undertook extensive dialogue with various stakeholders on the Land Use Charge (“LUC”) revised Law and its implementation.
Consequently, we received a wide range of responses from our dialogue with various stakeholders on the amended LUC Law 2018. The stakeholders included the Organised Private Sector, Nigeria Bar Association, Real estate investors & developers, Landlord & Resident Associations, Community Development Associations, Civil Society Organisations, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industries (LCCI), Nigeria Institute of Estate Surveyors & Valuers and several other professional groups.
These various interactions formed the subject of extensive deliberations at the meeting of the Lagos State Executive Council on Wednesday, March 14th, 2018. The Lagos State Executive Council chaired by His Excellency, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, therefore resolved as follows:
1. Commercial Property: Commercial Property owners, who are undoubtedly the stakeholders mostly impacted by this amended Law will be granted 50% discount. This means a commercial property valued at N20 million which was earlier billed N91,200 will now pay N45,600 per annum.
2. Property Occupied by Owner and Third Party & Property Used for Industrial and Manufacturing Purposes: These categories of property will now enjoy 25% discount. This means that a N20 million property expected to pay N30,720 will now pay N23,040 per annum.
3. Owner-occupied Property: This category of property will enjoy 15% discount. For a N20 million property, this used to be N9,120. Now, it is N7,752 per annum.
4. The penalty regime for late payment of LUC has been waived completely. Therefore, LUC payers who have received their bills will no longer be penalised for late payment of bills issued in 2018, thereby providing additional relief to LUC payers.
5. 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% general relief, 10% for 70 years and above, 10% for properties owned by persons living with disability and 10% for properties that are 25 years old and so on and so forth.
6. Owners of Property across all categories will now be allowed to make payments by instalments. This will help to reduce the burden of taxation on our citizens.
7. We appreciate and commend property owners of all categories who have performed their civic duties faithfully by paying the LUC. Consequently, as a result of these new measures, those who have paid the original amount will be awarded tax credits to the extent of the excess amount paid and carried forward to next year.
It is our fervent desire to ensure that we empower every property owner with the self-assessment provisions of the law. Therefore, we shall forward to the Lagos State House of Assembly for review and passage the following regulations:
a) The Regulation for review of applicable rates and regime of reliefs on Categories of Properties pursuant to LUC Law.
b) The Regulation for a framework for self-assessment
We implore all stakeholders to participate effectively in the legislative proceedings and sincerely appreciate them for trusting the current administration with the responsibility of investing the revenue from LUC in infrastructure renewal and overall development of our State. We will continue to make your tax work for you.
Itesiwaju ipinle Eko lo je wa l’ogun!