Thursday, June 24, 2021

Gaborone City Council wants your Dog to pay Tax

Dog owners living in the capital Gaborone will now have to pay a charge to keep their pets, thanks largely to the Dog Management Bye Law of 2018 introduced by the civic centre leaders. The dog license fee or dog tax as called in other jurisdictions is in addition to a series of other taxes and levies that the government will introduce/revise at the beginning of April 2021 including Value Added Tax, Fuel levy, ministerial charges and rental hikes by the state owned property developer – Botswana Housing Corporation. 

A notice circulated by the GCC this week noted that dog owners will now have to start paying as much as P100 for what’s classified as an ordinary dog, P500 for breeding dog, and P600 for guard dog. The fees have been approved by the Gaborone City Council (GCC) and will take effect immediately. 

The decision to introduce dog licensing fees comes at a time when the central government has called on the local governments to come up with new avenues of revenue collection. 

In his speech on Monday, Finance Minister – Dr Thapelo Matsheka acknowledged that there has been insufficient attention paid to maximising potential revenue collection at local governments. 

Matsheka said that urban councils should exercise due diligence in collecting the property rates due to them, instead of relying on subventions from central Government to bail them out. 

“This is not sustainable, and local authorities will be expected, in future, to cover more of their expenditures from revenues that they generate themselves”, Matsheka said. 

It also emerged on Monday that the Finance Ministry has also engaged the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development on revenue maximization initiatives by Councils. 

“Follow-ups are being made to ensure that the local authorities are intensifying their revenue collection efforts, including property rates, SHHA loan repayments, and fees from recreational or other facilities”, Matsheka said. 

Meanwhile the Finance Ministry is expected to undertake a valuation exercise for eligible properties outside of towns and cities, which will assist the effort to extend the rateable property base and collect appropriate rates.

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