via Govt should consider taxing land owners – Mzembi 31 October 2014
GOVERNMENT should consider taxing farmers with large tracts of land to generate revenue, Tourism and Hospitality Industry minister Walter Mzembi said yesterday.
Mzembi told students at the University of Zimbabwe that it was only practical to consider extending taxes to where there was higher revenue instead of starting from the bottom.
“If we are able to get tax from smaller businesses like those of airtime vending, then why not also look at taxing those with large hectares of land in which they are producing from freely?” he said.
In his mid-term fiscal policy review, Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa introduced a raft of measures such as taxing airtime and increase in duty on fuel to raise additional revenue for the economy.
Mzembi said his plans to achieve a $5 billion tourism economy was achievable, adding that the future of Zimbabwe and Africa’s tourism remained very promising on the back of the continent’s massive natural resources and its youthful population.
He also said that the current tourism performance was not concomitant with the natural and cultural tourism resources.
“We need to have a starting point which is revaluing our economy and we need to work back on recovery strategies,” he said.
Mzembi said there was need to put economic issues ahead of politics to grow tourists arrivals.
“We need to create better means for Zimbabweans who are locally based to partner in businesses with those in those in the diaspora. This will certainly give them a reason to want to return home as well,” said Mzembi.
Mzembi said he planned to grow the domestic tourism market by focusing developing mid-range or budget accommodation in most of the provinces among others.