Lands Ministry to defend provisional valuation roll

12 Feb 2014 20:00pm
WINDHOEK, 12 FEB (NAMPA) - The Ministry of Lands and Resettlement plans to defend the 2013 provisional valuation roll in the Valuation Court.
Lands and Resettlement Minister Alpheus !Naruseb made this announcement during his ministry’s annual staff meeting here on Wednesday.
“Last year saw the withdrawal of the provisional valuation roll due to several technical reasons. It is envisaged that the ministry will adequately prepare itself to finalise and defend the 2013 provisional valuation roll in the Valuation Court,” he stated.
The Land Tax Valuation Court was established by the Ministry of Lands and Resettlement in terms of the provisions of Regulation Eight of the Government Gazette Number 120 of the 2007 (GG No. 3870) dated 03 July 2007, and was scheduled for sittings from 30 August 2013 to 13 September 2013.
However, the government was dealt a heavy blow in September 2013 when the Windhoek High Court ordered the suspension of the Land Tax Valuation Court’s sittings.
The preliminary valuation of commercial land in 2012 was withdrawn, and more than 2 500 objections were filed in July 2013.
The Namibia Agriculture Union (NAU), at its 67th annual congress last October, suggested that land tax should be based on a transparent model, which is suitable for Namibian demographic requirements, and is also fair, affordable, equitable and in line with internationally-accepted tax laws.
The previous valuation roll is no longer valid and therefore there are no farm values legally in place on which the land tax can be calculated for the next five financial years.
Farm owners objecting against the provisional valuation roll complained that sharp increases in the official land tax value of their farms are unrealistic, and that the new valuations were not done in a rational manner.
In terms of the Agricultural Land Reform Act of 1995, failure to pay land tax might result in a fine of N.dollars 20 000, or imprisonment for five years, or both.
The new valuation roll will be valid for five years.
Speaking about the surveying and mapping of land, !Naruseb indicated that his ministry completed the revision of topographic datasets for the Omusati, Oshana, Ohangwena, Oshikoto and part of the Kunene and Otjozondjupa Regions. The acquisition of area images of the Omaheke, Khomas, Erongo and parts of Otjozondjupa and Hardap Regions are at an advanced stage. The data will assist in various national planning and application programmes.
The rehabilitation of the trigonometric reference network for the greater Walvis Bay area was done last year.