Victoria Falls municipality will announce a supplementary budget on this month and levy charges on tourists to the resort town to raise funds to repay a government loan, an official has said.
Council owes the government about $4 million for refurbishing its infrastructure when it hosted the World Tourism Organisation’s 20th General Assembly last year. It also owes the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra), Zimbabwe National Water Authority (Zinwa) its pension fund and other utilities over $6 million.
The council had originally approved a $9 million budget for 2014.
“The supplementary budget is going to see some major increases in rates and service for the industry,” town clerk Christopher Dube told The Source.
“We owe the government $4 million which we got as a loan to rehabilitate infrastructure… We are failing to repay that loan.”
Dube also said the municipality will go ahead and introduce a tourism tax — a dollar for every foreign visitor to the resort town — despite opposition from tour operators.
“We are going ahead with the project. We need to raise revenue from somewhere,” he said.