Less tax for agricultural land

Windhoek-Parliament last week decided to decrease the rate of land tax payable by Namibian citizens to 0,4 percent (previously 0,75 percent) with an increase of 0,25 percent for each additional unit, and for foreign landowners to 1,4 percent (previously 1,75 percent) also with an increase of 0,25 percent for each additional unit.

The rate must be calculated based on the value of the land, as determined by the Valuation Court for the 2012/2017 land valuations.

On the assumption that the land values will be accepted by the Valuation Court, the Namibia Agricultural Union (NAU) already proposed to the Ministry of Land Reform in 2013 that the rate must be adjusted to 0,35 percent. The adjustment to 0,4 percent is thus in line with the expectations of the NAU to reform land tax.

According to the verdict of the Valuation Court, landowners who objected through legal representatives received 40 percent discount on their land values, whilst the valuations of land owners who did not object through legal representatives remained the same as appeared on the 2012/2017 Valuation Roll.

However, there were a few exceptions where individual landowners who objected in the Valuation Court, got different levels of discount. Thus the value of the land is as it appears on the letter of the Ministry of Land Reform. This was sent to land owners by the ministry in May.

The review application as well as the appeal against the 2012/2017 Valuation Roll, which was submitted to High Court by landowners is still pending.

According to the review application and appeal process, the procedures followed in compiling the 2012/2017 Valuation Roll is being disputed and the verdict of the Valuation Court is also appealed against.

Notwithstanding this review application and appeal, landowners will be obliged to pay according to the assessment they receive from the ministry. It is expected that the ministry will send the invoices for land tax for 2017 after the adjustment of the rate.

Source: New Era Newspaper Namibia