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Treasury Department

  • RATES


1.0 Introduction

The Council has a mandate to provide certain services in the town as assigned by Government and defined in the Urban Government Act.  Currently the municipality is responsible for provision and maintenance of infrastructure (roads and supporting infrastructure), refuse collection, maintenance of order and public safety. 
Overall the Council has the objective to provide tangible quality services to residents, visitors and other stakeholders and service providers through sustainable good governance and planned development in a way that safeguards public welfare, health, safety and contentment.

2.0 HOW IS THE COUNCIL FINANCED?

All the taxes generated by businesses and individuals within the municipality are paid directly to Central Government or its agencies. The Council does not have a share in this wealth though a number of discussions have been held with the Government in this regard. To cater for the funding of municipalities the Government promulgated the Rating Act of 1995. The rates are property tax imposed on all immovable property – plots, farms, lots, houses, factories, shops, etc. – within the municipality. In the determination of rates the Council is partly guided by the Town Planning Scheme which demarcate the property uses into different zones. These zones include; residential, commercial, industrial, public use, etc. and each zone is rated differently.

The Council is financed by about 80% from rates and other user fees and the other 20% is catered for by the Government who pays subventions to the Council. There’s a formula for the subventions and it depends on the night time population for the town.

3.0 WHAT ARE RATES?

Rates are a form of property tax levied on all ratable properties, land and building within the urban boundary. The property owner or any person acting on the owner’s behalf pays rates at the Council offices. The collection and administration of rates is regulated by the Rating Act 1995. Rates vary according to the uses of the land. Land within the urban precinct is designated into zones such as:

3.1 Residential

3.2 Commercial

3.3 Industrial and

3.4 Public Use

4.0 WHY ARE RATES NECESSARY?

Rates and other user fees are used to provide the following services;

4.1 Capital Projects costs:

4.2 Subsidized refuse collection

4.3 Street lightings

4.4 Toilets

4.5 Road signs/ Street names

4.6 Leisure Park facilities

4.6 Town Planning Schemes etc.

The following are a list a local Authorities recurrent costs that are also

a)            Staff Remuneration

b)            Utilities (Water , Electricity, Telephone)

c)            Office Expenses

d)            Motor Vehicle Expense

e)            Council Expenses

f)             Legal Fees

g)            General Consultancy

h)           Repairs and Maintenance

i)             Training

j)             Refuse Collection.