Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State has been lauded for approving the downward review of the amended Land Use Charge Law 2018 to 50 percent for commercial property as well as other LUC waivers that will give economic succour to owners of property and taxpayers in Lagos State.
Lagos State Commissioner for Finance, Mr Akinyemi Ashade, at a media briefing on Thursday at the Baguda Kaltho Press Centre, Alausa, Ikeja, announced the slashing of the fee by 50 percent.
He explained that the “Lagos State government took this important decision for the good of the people” and as a government “committed to the welfare of its citizens and which understands the importance of continuously engaging the populace.”
In addition, Mr Ashade stated that the review to the amended LUC Law 2018, which was received with mixed feelings in the state, came as a result of widespread dialogue with stakeholders such as the Organised Private Sector, Nigeria Bar Association, Real Estate Investors & Developers, Landlord & Resident Associations, Community Development Associations, Civil Society Organizations, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industries (LCCI), Nigeria Institute of Estate Surveyors & Valuers and several other professional groups.
Furthermore, the Commissioner of Finance appreciated and commended property owners of all categories who have been performing their civic duties faithfully by paying the LUC.
“Consequently, as a result of these new measures, those who have paid the original amount will be awarded tax credits to the extent of the excess amount paid and carried forward to next year,” he said.
He also thanked Lagosians for their support and trust while encouraging them to participate effectively in the legislative proceedings.
“We appreciate you for trusting the current administration with the responsibility of investing the revenue from LUC in infrastructure renewal and overall development of our State. We promise we will continue to make your tax work for you,” the Commissioner said at the conference attended by members of the media in the state and other relevant stakeholders.
He disclosed that the after effect of the review of the amended LUC law means owners of property in Lagos State can now reap the benefits and waivers as follows:
COMMERCIAL PROPERTY OWNERS, who are undoubtedly the stakeholders mostly impacted by this amended Law will be granted 50 percent discount. This means a commercial property valued at N20 million which was earlier billed N91, 200 will now pay N45,600 per annum.
PROPERTY OCCUPIED BY OWNER AND THIRD PARTY & PROPERTY USED FOR INDUSTRIAL AND MANUFACTURING PURPOSES will now enjoy 25 percent discount. This means that a N20 million property expected to pay N30,720 will now pay N23,040 per annum.
OWNER-OCCUPIED PROPERTY will enjoy 15 percent discount. For a N20 million property, this used to be N9,120. Now, it is N7,752 per annum.
Additionally, the penalty regime for late payment of LUC has been waived completely. Therefore, LUC payers who have received their bills will no longer be penalized for late payment of bills issued in 2018, thereby providing additional relief to LUC payers.
Apart from the earlier stated ones, other rates and reliefs will remain unchanged and will be implemented as stipulated by the Law.
These include 40 percent general relief, 10 percent for 70 years and above, 10 percent for properties owned by persons living with disability and 10 percent for properties that are 25 years old and so on and so forth.
Owners of Property across all categories will now be allowed to make payments by instalments. This will help to reduce the burden of taxation on Lagos citizens.
Executive Director of Centre for Public Accountability (CPA), Comrade Femi Lawson, who was elated at the new LUC review, praised the administration of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode for its empathy with the people of the state.
“This review shows a government which shares in the pain and concerns of the citizens of this state. Not only did they listen to our agitations but also LASG took action to allay our fears and worries by bringing the LUC rates down and introducing some other tax burden relief measures. This is surely a pro-people government,” Comrade Lawson said.
Similarly, Mr Thomas Aderinola, a real estate investor in Lagos State, said the downward review of the amended LUC law by as much as 50 percent was a reassuring indication that the LASG is a listening government.
“Imagine this huge waiver of 50 percent. It shows that the state government is sensitive to needs and is working for the interest of the people. We all can see what Governor Ambode is doing in the state in terms of Infrastructural development,” he said.
More importantly, Mr Aderinola applauded the government for introducing some other waivers like the instalment payment and the newly set up People’s Tribunal to resolve LUC payment cases in the state.
“With developments like these, we will be happy to show our commitment to the growth of Lagos by paying our taxes as and when due,” he opined.
Credit: Business Post