By Chengeto Chidi
HARARE will introduce a new tax aimed at developing new infrastructure and keep the vision of a world class city by 2030.
Harare Mayor Herbert Gomba said the council was coming up with new initiatives to generate revenue outside increasing rates and tariffs with the view of lessening the financial burden on residents.
During a State Of the City Address Gomba said council sought to implement revenue enhancement initiatives in a bid to maintain the original rates
“The City of Harare appreciates the economic challenges our residents are facing, hence we have tried to ensure that our rates and tariffs remain sub-economic, “he said.
Harare City Council is proposing a tax meant for infrastructural development
“We are proposing a 20% infrastructure development tax which will give the City money dedicated to nothing but infrastructure development, all collections will be spent on infrastructure,” Gomba said.
“The City will then leverage on this tax to access loans for infrastructure development, modernisation of roads and implementation of modern traffic management systems which are in line with our smart city agenda.
He urged property developers to also pay for infrastructure needed to connect new development to existing infrastructure.
The mayor said there is need for tax reforms for revenue to cater for services which need urgent attention
“There is need to revamp the tax systems to ensure a percentage of tax from businesses is also shared with local authorities to enable us to finance water and road infrastructure development which require urgent attention, “he said.
Harare city council has plans for Parliament to make legislative reforms to allow council to recover ZWL$800 million owed by ratepayers in the same way Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) does.
He called for government to ensure that the council can receive taxes and payments in forex.
“Council is also engaging Government in a bid to secure authority to charge certain ratepayers, services and products in forex, “Gomba said.
This is meant to allow Council to invest in service delivery initiatives such as procurement of plant and equipment.
He said the initiatives are also applicable to areas out of Harare
“The above is not peculiar to Harare alone because some fast food outlets designated tourism facilities are allowed to charge in forex, “the mayor said.
Herbert Gomba was proud to announce that Harare City Council has managed to settle outstanding employees’ salaries
“I am glad to report that employees are now up to date and 2018 bonus was recently paid, we are progressively settling the arrears,” he said.