Land tax assessments coming in 2021
Commercial farmers will have to pay five years’ backlogged land taxes next year, with no indication yet whether they will be given more time.
24 November 2020 | Agriculture
Owners of commercial farms will soon receive land tax assessments for the past five financial years, during which no payments were made.
The valuation court annulled the most recent valuation roll (2017 to 2022) on 7 February last year after a two-year court battle.
The Namibian Agricultural Union (NAU) says no land tax payments have been made in the past five years, which means assessments for the financial years 2016-'17, 2017-'18, 2018-'19, 2019-'20 and 2020-'21 will be received early in 2021.
At the same time, it was negotiated that landowners should be given more time to pay all this tax.
"However, we have not yet received any written feedback on this. There is an understanding among officials that landowners are currently under great pressure when it comes to cash flow and that the term for payment will most likely be extended before the new valuation roll is issued," said the NLU's CEO, Roelie Venter.
He said the assessments to be issued next year were calculated on the 2007 valuation roll.
"The rate at which tax will be calculated is 0.75% for 2016-17 and the first part of 2017-18 for Namibians for the first title deed. An additional 0.25% will then apply to each subsequent title deed.
"For the rest of 2017-'18, as well as for the financial years 2018-'19, 2019-'20 and 2020-'21, landowners will be assessed at 0.4%. This, according to the rate cut announced in the Government Gazette in 2018. This applies to the first title deed. An additional 0.25% will then apply to each subsequent title deed,” said Venter.
The new valuation roll for 2022 to 2027 is still being finalised and the NLU says it was given the assurance that the final draft version will be discussed with them before going to court.
"It is essential that the valuations of the different farms correlate with the relative carrying capacity of the farm, and that this is not based on, for example, tourism potential," said Venter.
He said the NLU supports the payment of land tax, provided that it is affordable and fairly calculated.
"The 2007 land valuation roll was generally accepted as reasonable and affordable by landowners."
In contrast, the next two valuation rolls were both rejected in court.
The NLU previously said that the 2012 valuation roll, in which farm valuations increased by up to 900%, was unacceptable.
During the 2012 NLU congress, members were encouraged to lodge the strongest objection to this roll and, where necessary, to obtain legal representatives to represent their case. This roll was eventually set aside by the High Court.
This 2012 valuation roll was apparently used again for the compilation of 2017 valuations, and this roll was also set aside by the High Court last year.
In February 2018, High Court Judge Hosea Angula issued an interdict barring the government from levying land taxes based on the controversial valuation roll of 2012.