The Lagos State government has announced a reduction of rates in its controversial new Land Use Charge Law following public backlash that has trailed the act.
The reduction was announced by the state government after the decision was reached at an executive council meeting on Thursday, March 15, 2018.
According to the state government, commercial fee charge is reduced by 50%, while owner occupier third-party fee is reduced by 25% and the owner-occupier fee charge is reduced by 15%.
Due to the uproar generated by the law, state governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, noted earlier this week that there was still room to dialogue on it.
“I really mean it when I say I want dialogue. By the end of the week, we should be able to come out with something meaningful to ameliorate the issues being raised,” he said.
Lagos Land Use Charge Law 2018
On January 28, 2018, the Lagos State House of Assembly passed the Land Use Charge Law 2018 to repeal and replace the Land Use Charge Law 2001 which consolidated and replaced all the state and local government taxes payable on property in the state. Governor Ambode signed it into law on February 8, 2018.
According to the Law, chargeable properties include industrial premises of manufacturing concerns at the rate of 0.256% per annum of the assessed property value, residential property (owner and third party) at the rate of 0.256% per annum of the assessed property value, residential property (without owner in residence) at the rate of 0.76% per annum of the assessed property value, commercial property (used by occupier for business purposes) at the rate of 0.76%t per annum of the assessed property value and vacant property and open empty land at the rate of 0.76% per annum of the assessed property value.
Certain provisions in the new law led to public backlash against the state government as it was deemed as excessive taxing of property owners with astronomical increase in the rates.
Here are the 7 things you need to know about the Land Use Charge
- The law that supports the Land Use Charge was enacted in 2001.
- The Lagos State Land Use Charge (LUC) is a consolidation of all property and land based rates and charges payable under Lands Rates, Neighbourhood Improvement Charge and Tenement Rates Laws of Lagos State.
- It was designed to help the government generate additional revenue needed to develop the state in the light of increasing demand for provision of urban and rural infrastructure and other expenditure.
- Properties that are exempted from the operation of the law are government-owned properties, and other properties used for public, religious and charitable activities.
- The exemption will be approved only if an application for exemption is made to the Lagos State Commissioner of Finance.
- The Land Use Charge is an annual tax which is payable from the first day of every new year.
- Refusal to comply with any provision of this Law when required to do so by the Property Identification Officer or an Assessor, commits an offence and shall be liable on summary conviction to a maximum fine of two hundred and fifty thousand Naira only (₦250,000) or to a maximum term of imprisonment for a period of three (3) months or both.