The Lagos State Government has further clarified the rates for the newly reviewed Land Use Charge Law of 2018, noting that payers can compute the amount of charges payable on their respective properties themselves.
Speaking at a stakeholders’ forum organised by the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Lagos State Commissioner for Finance, Akinyemi Ashade, said the land use charge law is aimed at entrenching a regime of self-assessment, which would allow property owners to make their own calculation and know their rate with the help of professional valuers.
“The Land Use Charge law institutes the regime of self-assessment. The intent of the reviewed Law is for Lagosians to be able to compute the amount payable on their respective property by themselves.
“You don’t have to wait for demand notices before your pay your charges, you can calculate it yourself, engage us, you can make your payments voluntarily. Do it yourself, let’s dialogue and let’s get the basis right.”
The commissioner further gives examples under three categories recognised by the law. First of which is that “If you are a landlord and you are the only one living in your house with your family (no tenant), your annual fee is 60% of the value of the house × 0.076%.
“For instance, if your house is valued at N20million, your fee is 0.076% of (60% of N20m) = 0.076% x N12m = N9,120.00 per annum.
“Secondly, If you are a landlord living with your tenant in the same building value of N20million, you will pay 0.256% of (60% of N20m) =0.256% × N12m= N30,720.00 per annum.
“Thirdly, If you rented out the house to tenants only and you don’t live there and the house is worth N20million, you will pay 0.76% of (60% of N20m) = 0.76% of N12m = N91,200.00 per annum.
“The law does not tax the market value of properties. It gives a general discount rate of 40% to all property owners in the state. The Land Use Charge Law is holistic and fair to everybody. It is quite discriminatory. It is not one cap, fit all. Market value of properties in Ikorodu and Ikoyi can never be calculated as the same.”
According to one of the participants at the stakeholders’ meeting, Mr. Shadrack Bayowa, the Managing Director, Hinges Constructions and Properties Limited, the meeting has cleared the grey areas on the formulae used in assessing the Land Use charge as well as whose shoulder lies the responsibility of valuation.
He could not hold back his impression of Mr. Ashade who he described as a thoroughbred professional and a brilliant public officer who was calm and, patiently answer questions in spite of the initial hostile dispositions of some participants.
“I am more comfortable now with the new law as it is reasonable and progressive,” he concluded.
In his own remarks, President of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mr Babatunde Ruwase, noted that one of the key tenets of democracy is inclusiveness, participation and dialogue. He commended the Lagos State Government for being receptive to dialogue.
“As business community, we appreciate what the state government has been doing, especially the investment in infrastructure and security. We are therefore willing and ready to pay our taxes. Indeed, over 90% of the current IGR of over N300bn generated in the state is coming from the private sector. We appreciate the need to even do more.”