Lagos is working tirelessly to become a true Federal state, and is working on a Bill (Land Charge Bill) to ensure that Churches and Mosques pay tax. In a bid to increase the internally generated revenue (IGR) for development by 100 percent, the Land Charge Bill had gone through second reading on the floor of the State House of Assembly. If this bill is passed, Churches and Mosques will have to start paying Tax.
According to the Speaker of the House, Hon. Mudashiru Obasa, the law was all about increasing the revenue generation of the state. The law tagged “A Bill for A Law To Repeal The Land Use Charge Law 2001 and Enact Land Use Charge 2017 and For Connected Purposes” was subsequently committed to the House Adhoc Committee on Finance headed by Hon. Yinka Ogundimu.
The Speaker of the House Honourable Mudashiru Obasa said “We need more consultants to do the job so that the entire state could be covered in the collection of land use charge. Whatever tribunal that would be set up to deal with offenders should have the support of the government. “On the issue of exemptions, we cannot exempt religious organisations because most of the worship centres are making money. We could only exempt Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs).”
The question now is; is this not double taxation? If this bill is passed how will the revenue of the Churches and Mosques be calculated, being that there are a lot of donations which may not be on the books? Also, will Churches and Mosques be charged based on revenue or the land space they occupy? We wait and see how things unfold.