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Tuesday, 27 February 2018

Amended Lagos land use charge: NGOs, religious bodies, senior citizens exempted

Amended Lagos land use charge: NGOs, religious bodies, senior citizens exempted

Governor Akinwunmi Ambode

The Lagos state government has exempted senior citizens (citizens aged 70 years and above) who live in their own houses, from paying Land Use Charge.

The same applies to properties owned by religious and not-for-profit organizations where such properties are not profit-yielding.

These were part of the amendment that has just been signed into law by the government prior to the commencement of the distribution of the 2018 Land Use Charge demand notices for properties across the state.

Mr. Akinyemi Ashade, the state’s Commissioner for Finance said the State Government is very mindful of the impact of the current economic situation in the country on residents of the state, and has imputed several reliefs for Lagosians in the amended law.

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The amendment provision also stipulates that physically challenged citizens will enjoy considerable discounts on their computed charges. In the same light, every Land Use Charge bill benefits from a discount of 40 percent and an additional 15 percent discount if the bill is paid promptly.

According to Mr. Akinyemi Ashade, prior to the review, only a small fraction of taxable properties were actually remitting Land Use Charge to the government.

He said the determination of the rates payable by property owners was often questionable because the formula could be applied in a subjective manner.

The amended Land Use Charge regime allows for property owners to calculate by themselves the rates payable by them, once they have determined the market value of their properties.

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“This way, rates payable are transparent and standardized such that property owners are charged identical rates for properties of identical dimensions being used for identical purposes in the same locality,” the commissioner said.

Ashade however acknowledged that some persons have raised questions about their bills, adding that “we have a full-fledged Help Desk manned solely dedicated to managing and resolving such complaints.”

He advised Lagosians seeking more clarity about their bills to contact the Lagos Land Use charge Help Desk adding that the Help Desk contact details including email and telephone numbers are clearly stated on the demand notices.

He said property enumerators are being deployed across the state to verify not only the dimensions and reasonable market value of properties to enhance the accuracy of Land Use Charge determination.

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