Vic Falls offers 50 pc discount to ratepayers
VICTORIA Falls Municipality is offering up to 50 percent discount to fully paid up ratepayers as the local authority struggles to recover in excess of $12 million it is owed.
Last year, the municipality offered 20 percent discount on service rates to the hospitality industry in its 2016 budget, after a steep increase the previous year drew widespread criticism.
Responding to emailed questions, council public relations and economic development officer Mr Ngqabutho Moyo said the facility is being extended to both residents and the business community.
“We do discount everyone in Victoria Falls but that is subject to the prevailing circumstances in a particular year. The hospitality sector had bargained for a 20 percent reduction on rates, which was effected and we are currently giving 25 percent discount on residents who intend to clear their arrears on rates that exclude water and land charges and 50 percent discount to fully paid-up accounts,” said Mr Moyo.
He said council was owed $12 157 446 by a crosssection of ratepayers: the business sector, hospitality industry, SMEs as well as Government departments.
Mr Moyo said the municipality realised limited benefits from last year’s offer, but hoped for positive results this time around.
“We have realised less positive results from our previous promotional campaign since only a few companies took advantage of the reduction and cleared their rates which they have maintained up to date. However, most of them are still struggling to do so,” he said.
Council is in the process of crafting a $21 million 2017 budget after completing consultative meetings.
Mr Moyo said the 2017 budget focuses mostly on developing basic service infrastructure, water, sanitation and street lighting among others. — @ncubeleon