Lagos Government has begun the implementation of the new Land Use Charge in the state.
The government commenced the distribution of the 2018 notices for property across the state last week.
The distribution, which ought to have been carried out earlier, was delayed to review the Land Use Charge Act by the House of Assembly.
Commissioner for Finance, Akinyemi Ashade, said the 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 House speaker, only a small fraction of taxable property 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.
The commissioner 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, said Ashade, 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 property.
“This way, rates payable are transparent and standardised such that property owners are charged identical rates for property of identical dimensions being used for identical purposes in the same locality.”
Ashade added that the state government is very mindful of the impact of the current economic situation in the country on residents of the State, pointing out that the new Land Use Charge regime has several inbuilt reliefs for Lagosians. For instance, senior citizens (citizens aged 70 years and above) who live in their own houses, are exempted from paying Land Use Charge. The same applies to properties owned by religious and not-for-profit organisations where such properties are not profit-yielding. Physically challenged citizens also 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.
“The new Land Use Act, as recently passed by the House of Assembly, is designed to enhance the overall efficiency of the Land Use Charge regime to enable government become even better equipped to continue the infrastructure regeneration that is currently being aggressively implemented across Lagos State,” he emphasised.
“We have been very encouraged by the responses we have received so far as a good number of Lagosians have since gone ahead to make payment. This is very commendable and we extend our thanks and appreciation to them for discharging their civic responsibilities promptly.
“We are also engaging a handful of Lagosians who have raised legitimate concerns about their bills. We have a full-fledged help desk solely dedicated to managing and resolving such complaints,” he said.