Kenyan court invalidates disputed housing tax

Kenyan court invalidates disputed housing tax

A Kenyan court on Tuesday ruled that a controversial housing tax introduced by President William Ruto is illegal, dealing a blow to his plans to shore up depleted government coffers.

A 1.5% levy, in which employers match every taxpayer’s salary, was signed into law in June to fund affordable housing programs.

A three-judge panel of the Nairobi High Court said the introduction of the tax lacked a comprehensive legal framework and the exclusion of casual workers was “discriminatory and unreasonable”. said.

“An order has been made prohibiting the defendants from collecting fees known as the Affordable Housing Act,” Judge David Majanja said.

The levy was imposed as part of a fiscal law that increased taxes on a wide range of items, and had a knock-on effect on a country already hit by high inflation.

Anger over soaring prices, particularly for essential goods such as food and fuel, sparked a series of sometimes deadly protests against Ruto’s government earlier this year.

East Africa’s economic powerhouse faces a number of challenges, including depleting government revenues and rising costs of servicing a mountain of public debt due to a plummeting currency.

The government asked the court for a stay on the judgment.


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