Except you live in Kutuwengi, you must have heard about the newly introduced Land Use Charge Law 2018 which effectively repeals and replaces the old law, the Land Use Charge Law 2001. That new law was passed on 28 January 2018 and since then neither Lagos nor property owners in Lagos state have had any rest.
Now, I own 2 houses in Lagos where I pay Land Use Charges.
On one, I pay about N3,200 per annum and on the other I pay about N18,600 per annum. LIRS and VAIDs don’t worry, I am declaring my assets.
Now, these houses are not in the same area of town even though they are IN the same local government area. One is in Anthony while the other is in Oworonshoki. There are no prizes for guessing which one pays the higher land use charge even though, yes hear me well o, even though the one in Oworonshoki is technically bigger.
I have a friend who owns a house in Ikoyi. The house is massive with about 6 bedrooms and 2 living rooms. It has 7 toilets and sits on large grounds. My friend inherited it from his parents and pays, wait for it, N28,000 in Land Use Charge per annum.
Is this fair to me and my neighbours who live in Anthony, in 3 and 4 bedroom apartments and who pay just N10,000 lower than my friend who lives in opulence in Ikoyi?
The answer, of course, is no.
So, if Ambode has his way and if we are to believe Mr. Ayodele Hamzat Subair, the Executive Chairman of the Lagos Internal revenue Service (LIRS), my land use charges would increase by about 200% to 500%. If we take the higher value I would be paying N16,600 instead of N3,200 and N93,000 instead of N18,600. (That my friend in Ikoyi will have to fork out N140,000. So suddenly he is paying N47,200 more than me, up from just N9,000 before)
I don’t have tenants. My family members live in one while I live in the other. But imagine if I had tenants; their rent would go UP, immediately. That’s not good news for tenants, right?
As I write this, I haven’t received my invoices for the year but my eyes are already red.
Ok, I have told a lie. Well, not really a lie but an assumption. I have assumed that when the Lagos state government goes round to assess my houses and that of my friend they will accept that our houses are worth what we have been paying. Well, both of my houses are not worth anywhere near half of what my friend’s house is worth so by the end of the assessment, my friend may be paying close to half a million as Land use charge.
Now, do you see what Ambode is doing? He is trying to level the playing field. Yes, I will pay more and you will pay more but the mofos in Ikoyi who have been paying next to nothing over the years will have to pay more and for that I say, Ambode carry go!