• Licencing
  • How can I get a food license i.e., for a restaurant, butchery, bakery etc.

    Food licenses such as: restaurants, butchery, bakery, non-alcoholic license, milk and milk product, general foods such as chewing gum, sweets, and biscuits.

  • What are the procedures involved in providing these licenses?

    i. Inspection of the premises by our inspectors.
    ii. In addition, compliance with the Public Health Act and/or Food and Drugs Act will satisfy the issuance of such a license.

  • What type of licenses does the public inspectorate provide?

    i. Boarding houses
    ii. Lodges
    iii. Hotels
    iv. Nurseries

  • How does someone pay for a Business Levy, Fire Certificate and or other Licenses?

    A client should first visit our customer centre where he/she will register the business requiring a business levy, fire certificate and other licences. At this centre details are updated. Whether grant or renewal. A levy does not require health and building reports as these will be assessed independently by the relevant departments. However a health permit will require assessment of the premises before it is issued by our health inspectorate. Payment of a health permit is made direct in our revenue hall. It does not require updating.

  • Property Rates
  • What are Rates?

    Rates are defined as a Tax on property that has value and located within the boundary of the City.

  • Why are rates levied?

    Rates are levied on all rateable properties for purposes of raising revenue for the local authority to provide services of a public nature.

  • Where does the Council derive powers to levy rates?

    Rates are an old form of taxation and their origins can be traced to the poor relief Act 1601 (or even earlier), which required the taxation of every inhabitant and of every occupier of land, houses, tithes etc.
    In Zambia however, rates are governed by the Rating Act (as amended) and Section Six (6) outlines and explains which specific properties are rateable and further provides guidance on properties that are exempt.

  • How are rates derived?

    First of all, it should be understood that, the supreme law in the land governing rates is the Rating Act and provides guidance on the preparation of this document called the Valuation Roll.

    A valuation Roll is a listing of all rateable properties listed by stand/plot number, and shows such information as owners name, location, property description, land extent, land value, value of improvement or developments and the total rateable value.

    The Act directs that an advert in the print media is placed before any inspections of any property could be undertaken to inform leaseholders of the impending exercise. Usually Local authorities are further directed to go further to place notices other than adverts in the print media in many conspicuous public places to inform the general public on the exercise.

    The appointed valuer and his team of Assistants then visit each and every rateable property for purposes of inspection to enable him/her and his team value the property correctly. This is done by way of physically taking down measurements, checking the condition and surveying or he/she can put questions to the person in apparent occupation for purposes of fair market assessment.

    Upon completion of the valuations and compilation of the Valuation Roll or listing, another advert is placed in the print media incorporating the proposed rate levies and to inform all leaseholders therein that the roll has been prepared in accordance with the Rating Act and that they are invited to inspect the document and make extracts of the entries relating to their property.

    Further a notice to each leaseholder in the Valuation Roll is delivered to their last known address. Upon inspection, the leaseholders will be advised of their rates as calculated from the formula; Total Rateable value x Rate levy=Rates.

    The total rateable value includes the sum of the land value and the value of improvements or developments.

    It is expected that leaseholders in disagreement with any detail on their entry, be it the name, location, property number, land extent or indeed the values placed on the property, should lodge an objection in duplicate using the prescribed form to be provided at the Council. When an objection is lodged in this manner, of course giving reasons for objections, the objector will be duly registered to appear before the Valuation Tribunal to present their case.

  • Who decides on objected cases?

    The Rating Act provides for the formation of a quasi-judicial body called the Rating Valuation Tribunal which has the powers to arbitrate over all matter related to preparation, objections and giving effect to the Valuation Roll whose composition is provided for in the Rating Act.

    The Rating Valuation Tribunal is headed by the Chairman who is at the level of a High Court judge and eight (8) other members among them, experienced valuation surveyors.

  • What happens if an objector is unhappy with the decision of the Tribunal?

    It is appointed under Section 24 of the Rating Act for a dissatisfied objector to appeal to the High Court within 30 days after the date of the award by the Rating Valuation Tribunal. During this period, the objector shall not be subjected to pay any rates under dispute until the matter is disposed of. However, upon disposition, the rates so decided by the Court shall immediately become due and the Council will be in order to demand full payment for the same unless there is a special payment plan entered into.

  • What is the frequency of preparing the Roll?

    Under Section eight (8) of the said Act, it is appointed that the local authority should prepare the Main Valuation Roll at least once every five years. It must, however, be stated here that, due to the huge sums of money this exercise gobbles, most Councils go a little beyond the stipulated time. It is worth-noting however that, after commissioning of the Roll, that is, the date at which a decision to prepare the Valuation Roll is passed, a number of years may pass before the Roll could actually be in use.

    It follows therefore that, most Councils have started to count from the date of the award as the first year onwards, which it must be stated is not what the law provides. In certain extreme cases a roll may take as long as four years to prepare from the date of the resolution.

  • How frequently are rates billed?

    Emanating from the rule of thumb that since rates are annual, billing on pro-rata basis may be costly for the Council considering the actual bills against the stationery used. It is from this standpoint that Councils produce rates bills semi-annually rather than monthly.

    Having considered salient points regarding the rates, below are some frequently asked questions about rates and it is hoped that most concerns will be taken care of.

  • I didn’t know about the re-valuation as I was out of the country hence could not object to the value?

    The Act provides that an objection in a prescribed form is lodged in order to be given a hearing. In the absence of this, unfortunately nothing can be done.

  • I have not made any improvements to my house, why the improvement value?

    This is a cause for confusion to man. What is referred to ‘improvement value’ are the developments found existing at the site at the time of inspection. By implication, it does not therefore mean that the building has been improved upon.

  • There is nothing happening at my premises, business has closed down so I can’t afford to pay!

    Rates are a tax on property which is valued on the open market and is assumed to be vacant and for sale. A tax is therefore independent of whether a business is running or not. In short the Law does not provide for consideration to ability to pay rates is inconsequential in determining the rates applicable.

  • Can I have my property value re-assed despite the Tribunal ruling?

    Unless otherwise directed in the same ruling by the tribunal, alterations to the Roll shall not include changes to the value of the property. It implies therefore, that the ruling of the Tribunal, in the absence of a High Court appeal, is final.

    Editors Note: In the next issue, we shall deal with the properties eligible for inclusion in the Roll in detail and further questions answered. Forward your questionsto Public Relations Manager (Ag) on email: info@lcc.gov.zm or Assistant Public Relations Manager on habeenzu78@gmail.com

  • Which properties are exempted from rates?

    According to section 6(2) of the Rating Act of 1997 (as amended) certain properties are exempted from paying rates such as:
    i. Property in occupation of the president in his capacity as head of state
    ii. Premises of a mission which are the residence of the head of foreign mission and chancery of that mission
    iii. Property used primarily for public worship and residence of ministers of a church and Nuns
    iv. Property used wholly for the operational purposes of any public utility
    v. Public Cemeteries and Crematoria
    vi. Military Aerodromes
    vii. Agricultural land and buildings used for agriculture including dwelling houses
    viii. Recreational facilities
    ix. Public Libraries and Public Museums

  • Finance & Payments
  • How does someone make payments of rates, ground rent and account based payments?

    A client should produce any of the following information to access his/her account;
    (i) Account number shown on his/her bill relating to the property.
    (ii) National Registration Card Number of the owner of the property whose property is registered under him/her.
    (iii) Stand or Plot Number of the property in question.

  • How does someone pay for a Business Levy, Fire Certificate and or other Licenses?

    A client should first visit our customer centre where he/she will register the business requiring a business levy, fire certificate and other licenses. At this centre details are updated. Whether grant or renewal. A levy does not require health and building reports as these will be assessed independently by the relevant departments. However a health permit will require assessment of the premises before it is issued by our health inspectorate. Payment of a health permit is made direct in our revenue hall. It does not require updating.

  • Is there any need for a client to have several account based accounts for making payments?

    Not at all. For individuals we are encouraging our clients to register all there businesses, properties and all other account based transactions done at council under one client id, i.e. the NRC number. This client id will be able to hold all the information for an individual. For companies we encourage corporate institutions with us with the company registration number.

  • When is the payment for rates, ground rent, b/levies, billboards and other fees, levies due?

    Rates payment are due for payment every half year period i.e. 1st January for the first half and 1st July for the second half. Ground rent payment should be made quarterly. This mode of payment also applies to commercial rent, billboards and for all site rentals. B/levies renewals are done yearly but should be done between July and 31st December of each year. Personal levy falls due in March and June every calendar year for the first and second instalments respectively.

  • Personal Levy
  • What is the Personal Levy Rate?

    Personal Levy should be paid at one percent (1%) of annual income and the maximum is Fifteen Kwacha only.

     

  • What is the procedure of payment of Personal Levy?

    The employer should be deducting the Personal Levy from the employees emoluments, prepare a schedule, on it should be the employees name. Annual income and the amount of Personal Levy payable and pay the Personal Levy to the Council on behalf of the employees.

     

  • When is Personal Levy due?

    Personal levy is paid in two instalments, in March and June. All Employers/Payers should ensure clearance of Personal Levy payments by 30th September of each levy year.

     

  • What is the consequence of late payment?

    Late payment of Personal Levy attracts a penalty of Fifteen Percent (15%) and is paid by the employer and not employees.