DAILY LAW TIPS by Onyekachi Umah,Esq.(Tip 282)
STATE GOVERNMENTS CANNOT COLLECT TENEMENT RATES IN NIGERIA.
First of all, tenement rate is a tax payable by an occupier of a developed property to a local government authority in charge of the area the developed property is located. The property must be developed and occupied, so tenement rate cannot be paid on an empty or undeveloped land. If the developed property is occupied by a tenant then such tenant must pay for it and not the landlord unless they agreed otherwise. Where a landlord is the one occupying a developed property, such landlord must pay such himself. This is different from Ground Rent, which is payable by landlords for lands whether developed or undeveloped and collectable by either state or local government authorities in charge of the location of such land.
TENEMENT RATES are collected by only local governments authorities in charge of the location of developed property. Both State or Federal government authorities cannot collect tenement rates. Note that state government may also collect a Land Use Charge which a local government authority cannot collect. As at today, the make up/contents of a Land Use Act is not clear and some states have used it as means to charge and collect outrageous taxes.
My authorities are sections 1 and 5 as well as the Schedule to the Taxes and Levies (Approved List for Collection) Act, 1998 and the Schedule to the Taxes and Levies (Approved List for Collection) Act, (Amendment) Order 2015. Also Section 7(5), Paragraph 9, Part II of Second Schedule and Paragraph 1(J) of the Fourth Schedule to the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999.
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