The Lagos state government has announced the downward review of the state Property Tax Law; the Land Use Charge.
This comes following public outcry and protest by individuals, groups and organisations who had described the property levy as outrageous.
Announcing the review at an Inter-Ministerial Press briefing in Ikeja, the State Commissioner for Finance, Mr. Akinremi Ashade explained that the move was in a bid to ensure continuous infrastructure renewal projects and better the living conditions of the residents of the state.
“The Lagos state government, in its desire to build world class infrastructure and improve the well-being of its citizens reviewed the Land Use Charge payable by all property owners.
“The exercise was received with mixed feelings by various interest group who expressed serious concerns.
In line with this administration’s tradition of inclusive governance and civic engagement and as a Government that is committed to the welfare of its citizens and understands the importance of continuously engaging the populace , we undertook extensive dialogue with various stakeholders on the Land Use Charge “LUC” revised Law and its implementation,”the Commissioner explained.
Ashade said that the state received wide range of response from interactions with different stakeholders on the amended LUC Law 2018.
The stakeholders included the Organised Private Sector, Nigeria Bar Association, Real estate investors & developers, Landlord & Resident Associations, Community Development Associations, Civil Society Organisations, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industries (LCCI), Nigeria Institute of Estate Surveyors & Valuers and several other professional groups.
According to him, the various interactions formed the subject of extensive deliberations at the meeting of the Lagos State Executive Council on Wednesday, March 14th, 2018.
Commercial Property owners, who are the stakeholders mostly impacted by this amended Law will be granted 50% 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% discount.
This means that a N20 million property expected to pay N30,720 will now pay N23,040 per annum.
This category of property will enjoy 15% discount. For a N20 million property, this used to be N9,120. Now, it is N7,752 per annum.
The penalty regime for late payment of LUC has been waived completely.
Therefore, LUC payers who have received their bills will no longer be penalised for late payment of bills issued in 2018, thereby providing additional relief to LUC payers.
The Commissioner noted that other rates and reliefs, apart from the ones stated above, would remain unchanged and would be implemented as stipulated by the Law.
And these include 40% general relief, 10% for 70 years and above, 10% for properties owned by persons living with disability and 10% for properties that are 25 years old and so on and so forth.
He stressed that owners of Property across all categories would now be allowed to make payments by instalments as this would help to reduce the burden of taxation on the citizens.
“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.
It is our fervent desire to ensure that we empower every property owner with the self-assessment provisions of the law. Therefore, we shall forward to the Lagos State House of Assembly for review and passage the following regulations:
a) The Regulation for review of applicable rates and regime of reliefs on Categories of Properties pursuant to LUC Law.
b) The Regulation for a framework for self-assessment.
We implore all stakeholders to participate effectively in the legislative proceedings and sincerely appreciate them for trusting the current administration with the responsibility of investing the revenue from LUC in infrastructure renewal and overall development of our State. We will continue to make your tax work for you.” Ashade added.
The state government appreciated and commend property owners of all categories who have performed their civic duties faithfully by paying the LUC.