Some concerned small scale business owners in Mzimba have petitioned the Mmbelwa district council to stop new hiked taxes saying they were instituted without consultations .
Secretary for the concerned business people Khuzwayo Hara said the council hiked taxes by almost 100% a development he said is impacting negatively on the small business who pay the taxes on a daily basis.
Hara said the hike in taxes without thorough consultation contradicts the 2019 local government guide book on how councils are supposed to effect tax adjustments.
"We feel the Mmbelwa district council has not been transparent enough in making these tax adjustments as they did not consult other stakeholders like the business people hence we decided to petition them so that they reconsider their decision", said Hara
He said small businesses are bearing the blunt of the decision as payment of two hundred kwacha a day translates into over seventy thousand kwacha a year.
" The council must reconsider its decision as most small small businesses have been hit hard in fact they are paying more in taxes than those with big businesses in a year"said Hara.
But acting district commissioner for the Mmbelwa district council Steve Chima while acknowledging receipt of the petition said the council cannot respond as the concerned business people did not follow proper channels in petitioning the council.
"We got their petition but am afraid we can't respond to their concerns because they did not follow proper procedure when channeling them to us, the proper way is for them to use the market committee but their petition does not have the signature of the market committee chairperson so we are not going to respond to them", said Chima.
The council has been closing some shops where owners are not complying with the new adjusted taxes.
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Last modified on Tuesday, 13/04/2021