By Peter Egwuatu
Lagos State Government yesterday said it had begun the distribution of the 2018 Land Use Charge demand notices for properties across the state.
Commissioner for Finance, Mr Akinyemi Ashade, who made this known, said the distribution which commenced last week ought to have been carried out much earlier in the year but was delayed by a review of the Land Use Charge Act by the State House of Assembly.
He said the review process entailed a repeal of the old law, public hearings and enactment of a replacement by the House of Assembly on January 28, before it was signed into law on February 8.
According to Ashade, the State House of Assembly decided to review the law in the light of some of the inefficiencies that had become associated with the old Land Use Charge act.
“As noted by the Speaker of the Lagos House of Assembly, only a small fraction of taxable properties were actually remitting Land Use Charge to the government. To make matters worse, the land use charge rates had over time gradually become rather obsolete,” Ashade said in a statement.
In addition, he said, determination of the rates payable by property owners was often questionable because the formula could be applied in a subjective manner.
“The new Land Use Charge regime sets out to correct the shortcomings in the previous regime. For instance, the new regime allows for property owners to calculate by themselves the rates payable by them, once they have determined the market value of their properties. This way, rates payable are transparent and standardised such that property owners are charged identical rates for properties of identical dimensions being used for identical purposes in the same locality.”