Land valuation roll appeal in high court

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Staff Reporter

Windhoek-The appeal of 379 landowners who were not represented by legal representatives at the valuation court in 2016 was submitted to the high court last Thursday.

The appeal of landowners who were represented by legal representatives was already submitted on December 19, 2016. The submission of this appeal supports the action to put aside the disputed 2012/2017 valuation roll and/or force the Ministry of Land Reform to rectify it according to the regulations for determining land tax.

In the meantime the Ministry of Land Reform started with valuations of selected farms for the drafting of the 2017/2022 land valuation map. This process is supposed to take place every five years, according to current regulations.

The large number of objections that were submitted against the 2012/2017 provisional valuation roll for the payment of land tax as well as the confusing announcements by the valuation court in 2016 left landowners with no other option than to appeal to the high court.

Together with the appeal against the verdict of the valuation court, a review application was also submitted which disputes the administrative procedures for the drafting of the valuation roll.

The Namibian Agricultural Union (NAU) has since 2013 been in contact with the Ministry of Land Reform about the application of the regulations for draft valuation rolls for the purpose of payment of land tax. The biggest shortcoming is that the 2012/2017 provisional valuation roll does not take the production potential of the land into consideration. Various submissions in this regard were already made by the NAU to the ministry.

NAU’s view is confirmed by the large number of objections that were submitted as well as the confusing verdict of the valuation court, which caused even bigger confusion with the valuation roll. Landowners’ legal representatives decided to submit an appeal at the high court against the valuation roll and also to submit a review application. Numerous landowners, who are represented by legal representatives, already contributed to the high court action.

NAU also collected N$1,500 per landowner from those who have not yet contributed through their legal representative, for the support of the high court application.

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