Executive Chairman of the Lagos State Internal Revenue Service (LIRS) Ayodele Subair, in an interview with Thisday newspapers gave several reasons behind the sharp increase in Land Use Charges by the state. According to him. The sharp increases were largely due to the non-revision of the law in nearly two decades and the government’s need to raise revenue.
“Again, the Land Use Charge has not been renewed for about 16 years. So, the government deemed it fit to try and review the law. In the past, a lot of properties were seriously undercharged. You could see a house on Queens Drive, Ikoyi, that is paying N18,000 and the house is worth probably hundreds of millions of naira or even billions.”
The Lagos State Land Use Charge (LUC) is a consolidation of all property and land-based rates and charges payable under Lands Rates, Neighborhood Improvement Charge and Tenement Rates Laws of Lagos State.
The Lagos State House of Assembly had passed the bill on 29th January 2018, while the Governor signed the bill into law on the 8th of February, 2018. Subsequently, the revised bills were distributed late last month, with charges going up by as much as 150-300%.
Revenue may be the main driver
Asides, the non-revision of the law for over a decade, the need to ramp up the LIRS target for the year may have led to the revised charges. Subair also disclosed that the agency had a target of N440 billion, amounting to 61% of the state’s N720 billion revenue target for 2018.
Property owners can appeal
Subair also disclosed that property owners that were dissatisfied with any charges they were billed, could decide to appeal. During this period, their properties would not be sealed up.
“You can appeal it if you feel that it is an unjust amount. It is very easy.
There is a help desk at the Lagos State Ministry of Finance and they are willing to listen to everybody. At the same time, there is going to be an appeal tribunal. So, anybody who feels aggrieved can write to the tribunal and get justice.”