Elgeyo Marakwet County to Tax foreign athletes; Not a good idea

Kenyan and foreign athletes train for the Summer Olympic Games during a morning run in the high-altitude town of Iten on December 2nd. [Source Tony Karumba/AFP]
Kenyan and foreign athletes train for the Summer Olympic Games during a morning run in the high-altitude town of Iten on December 2nd. [Source Tony Karumba/AFP]

Foreign athletes will now be taxed for training in Elgeyo Marakwet if the motion passed by the county assembly is anything to go by.

According to the County government, foregners who train in the high altitude area  are using the county's facilities including stadiums without paying any fees yet they earn millions after winning races abroad.

Article 209(3)(a) of the constitution which allows counties to introduce such taxes but with this one, no. This is just a very wrong move.

Iten town is the headquarters of Elgeyo Marakwet county and is the most popular training centre for foreign athletes hosting more than 1,000 foreign athletes every year. When the start being taxed what does that mean for Kenya? Taxing them is just the same way as saying tourist visiting Kenya should also be taxed.

This motion by the Elgeyo Marakwet County government was introduced by Emoso ward representative Christopher Cheboiboch who is also a former athlete. He argues that, Those stadiums foreign athletes use need to be maintained and upgraded to ensure that they are in good condition. and this can only be done when the government has enough revenue.

If implemented, this only means that they foreign tourists will look for alternative areas or even neighboring countries to train. This will be a major blow to the county's' tourism sector. What the county needs to do is look for alternative sources of revenue to upgrade the stadiums, in the end this will invite more athletes to come and train in the county.

This move will not affect local athletes

''Home of Champions' as it is commonly know, this a completely wrong move.

What say you?

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KanaliSpeaks is a blog that focuses on current issues and all things governance.

kanalispeaks

KanaliSpeaks is a blog that focuses on current issues and all things governance.

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