Harare is now taxing residential parcels based exclusively on the value of the land, with all houses free of tax. The net result is that most homeowners will pay the same or less, but owners of vacant plots will pay “a lot more,” with total revenue expected to increase from US$8 million/month to US$12 million/month. Authorities will not literally value every individual parcel, but assign values based on zones and size categories, providing a pretty good approximation of value at relatively little cost.
In addition to the 50% increase in revenue,
[T]he migration from land and improvements valuations to land only with the rates set by zoning was designed to encourage people to develop land fully or sell it to those who will.
According to the source article, houses in some parts of Harare had already been exempt before the change. Thanks to Gil Herman for the link.
Our local authorities, if they were serious about the need for more revenue without burdening residents, would seek a similar system.
And some Chicagoans might want to try Harare activists’ approach to the privatization of parking and towing.