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Former MDC senator blasts Mthuli Ncube over wealth tax

by Stephen Jakes
03 Dec 2023 at 09:56hrs | Views
FORMER MDC senator for Matabeleland North Chief Ndlovu has blasted the Finance Minister over the wealth tax he imposed during the announcement of the 2024 national budget.

"I want to believe that the minister of finance could have tried to be more creative than punitive with regards to "houses worth over a $100 000 usd wealth tax". He can maintain that wealth tax but it should not apply to the primary residence. If one has more than two houses then only the secondary house(s) is liable for this proposed tax," Ndlovu said.

"It's an administrative nightmare but it's a considerate approach. Not all people who have a house worth over $100 000 have an income. Primary residence can not be considered as a pointer of a gainful income stream . Young widows, children, and other categories of people may own such a house but not have the means to pay the annual 1%."

Meanwhile Linda Masarira said most ordinary houses in low residential areas and medium density areas in Zimbabwe are, on average, worth US$100 000 and that will mean every person owning a house will be compelled to lay this so-called wealth tax.

"The proposed wealth/mansion tax should be reviewed to US$250 000 so that ordinary Zimbabweans are not choked by these unending taxes. If this amount is not reviewed upwards, the burden of the wealth tax is going to be pushed to the tenants of those houses thereby rents will increase whilst salaries remain stagnant. Rentals will become unaffordable to the middle class," she said.

"The middle class will move to the high density areas and offer to pay slightly higher rentals, pushing out those dwelling in high density areas, and a housing crisis will evolve. Tenants are already struggling with the ever skyrocketing rentals, and the introduction of such a tax is just insensitive to the plight of ordinary Zimbabweans struggling to make ends meet."

"We would have expected to see a review of the land tax. We have many wealthy people with vast lands who are not paying a dune in taxes. Thus, every farm above 100 hectares should pay a certain amount of land tax. This would deal with issues of productivity and multiple farm ownership very quickly. This budget will further sink Zimbabwe into deeper murky waters of quagmire. A budget must be production driven, not tax driven."

Source - Byo24News