December 15, 2004

Pohamba unveils valuation roll for land tax

President-elect and Minister of Lands, Resettlement and Rehabilitation Hifikepunye Pohamba has unveiled the long-awaited Valuation Roll that was formulated for the collection of land tax from farm owners. Equipped with the Valuation Roll, the Ministry of Lands, Resettlement and Rehabilitation expects to generate N$33 million annually, assuming it meets its target of a 100 per cent collection rate. According to Pohamba, the tax was expected to raise additional revenue so as to aid the equitable and sustainable implementation of the land reform. "I am advised that after further verifying and excluding agricultural land taxed under municipal laws, and with other corrections from the Provisional Valuation Roll that had 12.509 farms, the corrected and approved main roll now has 12.395 farms worth 43 billion hectares," stated the Lands Minister. Government accounts for only 14 per cent of the 43 billion hectares. The rest is owned by registered farming close corporations, trustees and other owners, while NamWater and NamPower together own 132 farms valued at N$9 million.
"The implementation of land reform in our country is an ongoing process that my ministry has been working on. With reference to the Main Valuation Roll, that is being handed over today, we have had to overcome many difficulties, including limited financial resources, expertise, gathering of correct farm data and information, and certain legal limitations which had to be addressed from time to time to resolve practical problems in the speedy implementation of the land tax," he stated. The Ministry of Finance that has been tasked with the collection of taxes would only be able to collect an amount of N$33 million if all farm owners co-operate, and he appealed to them to provide his ministry with their postal addresses. "I therefore, want to make my last passionate appeal for such owners to speedily furnish my ministry with this information before recourse to the sanctions provided under the law. To this effect, my ministry shall be publishing the list of those farm owners whose addresses are still outstanding," Pohamba informed a media briefing. New Era (Windhoek)

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