The Cabinet Secretary for Treasury Henry Rotich, on Thursday presented a 2.62 trillion budget to the National Assembly where he rained hard on betting firms and revelers.
In what was seen as introducing a new source of revenue to the government in one of the most thriving gambling industry, the CS slapped the industry with what has been described as a punitive tax measure.
The CS increased levies on betting, lotteries, gaming and competition prizes firms from the initial 7.5, 12 and 15 percent respectively to a uniform levy of 50 percent a move that is set to hit hard on the firms. The CS said that the revenue from the firms will be used to finance the National Sports, Culture and Arts Fund. A total of 4.7 billion shillings was collected from the betting firms over a period of three years according to the Kenya Revenue Authority.
Those who are in love with beer, fruit juice, cigarettes as well as cosmetics are in for a tough time as taxes on them rises. With these charges, the excise taxes are expected to move from the current 180.8 billion shillings to 199.8 billion shillings.
In the concluded financial year, the CS had imposed a tax of 100 shillings per liter for the beer, 2,500 shillings per mille of cigarettes, 10 shillings per liter of juice and 7,205 shillings per every 1,000 liters of illuminating kerosene. In the new budget, 1,800 shillings in taxes per mille will be charged on plain cigarettes, with the filtered ones maintained at 2,500 shillings per mille.