24 Jun 2013 10:00
RUNDU, 24 JUN (NAMPA) - Prominent members of the business community here have boycotted paying rates and taxes to the Rundu Town Council until they get answers on how the new tariffs are determined.
A local property developer who refused to be identitied, said the Rundu Town Council has apparently increased the rates and taxes for businesses from an average of N.dollars 1 000 per month to N.dollars 11 500 monthly, sparking an outcry from the business community.
The affected business fraternity has since teamed up and wrote a letter to the town council, demanding an explanation on the ?unjustifiable increase? of the rates and taxes on their properties.
In the letter signed by close to 40 business owners along Eugene Kakukuru road, they want to know on what grounds the new rates and taxes are based, as they are apparently all shocked by the new rates issued to them.
?If we have to pay the new rates and taxes, it will result in retrenchment of workers as we will not be able to afford them anymore. This will also have an impact on development in the town,? said another prominent businessperson at the town who only identified himself as Rafiqi.
They also questioned why some Chinese investors are given preferential treatment, saying they apparently only pay N.dollars 5 per square metre, while Namibian property developers are charged between N.dollars 60 to 100 per square metre when they acquire land.
They, thus, questioned whether the new rates and taxes will also apply to the Chinese investors.
According to the group of businessman, most of them along the Eugene Kakukuru road serviced their land at their own costs in the past, but yet they are still being charged high tariffs while the land was virgin when they acquired it.
Approached for comment, Rundu Town Council acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Herman Haingura said the council has not adjusted its 2012/2013 financial year tariffs on rates and taxes yet and these are still applicable until the end this month when the council?s financial year ends.
The acting CEO thus advised concerned members of the business community to direct their specific inquiries to the council's customer care offices.
Haingura also requested the concerned group to provide the council with details of the Chinese companies which apparently got land in Rundu at N.dollars 5 per square metre, as well as to provide details of property owners along Eugene Kakukuru road who allegedly serviced land at their own costs.