By definition, land tax/rate is the levy payable annually on every piece of land regardless of whether it brings income or not. It is taxed based on the current market value of the land and it varies depending on where a piece of land is located. The land rates are payable via the respective county governments and the said revenue is later channeled to development projects.
It is important to note that the value of land increases when it is serviced with water, sewage system, street lights, improved roads and other security systems and as such, the land rate also simultaneously increases.
A rates clearance certificate is issued once you’ve paid the full amounts of all land rates. The certificate acts as conclusive evidence that the rates due have been paid in full as well as any interest that may have accrued.
In Kenya, all land owners are required to submit their land rates before the end of the financial year which is usually in June. Those who don’t comply with the said obligation on time are usually penalized. However, several county governments have come up with a way of encouraging land owners to pay the rates by waving the penalties accumulated previously.
How to pay land rates in Kenya
The process of paying land rates in Kenya has been made hassle free as you can now pay using an online mode known as the ecitizen Kenya portal.
It is a system that has been embraced by many Kenyans as they can now make their payments at the comfort of their homes.
Steps to follow;
- Open the ecitizen website on your browser
- Sign in to your registered account. If you don’t have one, you need to sign up
- Go ahead and click on the ministry of land and Urban housing Development so as to click on the land search
- Enter your land title number
- Fill the online form and submit it
- Confirm the details you have entered and then make your payment using Mpesa, bank transfers, credit card or debit cards.
- After confirmation of payment, you may print the results if you so wish.
- If you decide not to print the results, they will still be displayed in the e-citizen account
On the other hand, most people confuse land rate with land rent. By definition, land rent is the levy which is charged on leasehold parcels of land whereby the annual rent is reserved at the time the grant is being issued. It is payable to the Ministry of Lands and Physical Planning. A Land rent clearance certificate which is valid for one year is issued to serve as evidence of payment of land rent and all the outstanding land rent levies.
How to pay land rent.
The process is quite simple because it is done using any type of mobile phone.
Here are the steps that you should follow;
- Register by sending an sms with the word ‘lands’ to the number 21504. An sms confirming your subscription to the land service will be sent to you.
- Dial *512# so as to access the service.
- You will receive a prompt asking you if you want to continue registering .Note that you will be charged Kshs 5 per sms for this service.
- If you choose to proceed, you will receive another prompt with the options such as registering your land, land tracking and land rate payment.
- For the case of the land rate, you will be required to enter your land reference number, I.D number and to confirm your details.
- You will then receive an sms with your payment options.