Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja refuted claims that his administration doubled rates for Nairobi landowners.

In a statement issued on November 26, Sakaja maintained that his administration had adopted a new valuation scheme for accessing lands within the county.

He also disclosed that the new valuation regime would only increase land rates by 0.115 per cent. According to the governor, the new valuation formula would apply to residential, commercial and agricultural lands within his Nairobi jurisdiction.

"No rates are doubling. We are simply adopting the new valuation roll, and rates are at 0.115 per cent of the unimproved site value," Sakaja's statement read in part. "Last valuation was in 1980, this means there is only a slight increase from what residents have been paying," he added.

The governor was reacting to media reports which had said that property owners might cough more from January in land rates in new charges being implemented by the city hall as per the latest assets valuation. Reports indicated that landowners would be compelled to pay double under the new county asset evaluation scheme contained in Finance Bill 2021.

It indicated that land exceeding 0.4 hectares would attract a rate of Ksh4,800 from Ksh2,400. The move raised concerns as most aggrieved property owners lamented that it would set the stage for costly levies.

In Nairobi, land valuation involves analysing a plot to determine the exact current market value. It helps landowners understand market resell value and the amount of credit one can acquire while using their land as collateral.

Valuation also aids in the calculation of taxes and lease value. It also enables the City Hall to increase its financial returns and match the current land prices in Nairobi and its satellite towns.

The move came after the taxman launched a data collection exercise on rental properties along major roads in five Sub-Counties, including Langata, Dagoretti North, Embakasi East, Kasarani, and Kamukunji.