By SIMON MUNTEMBA
GOVERNMENT should listen to concerns raised by local tour operators and reverse the 15 percent tax incentive offered to Sun International to level the playing field, Citizen Democratic Party (CDP) leader Richard Mwanza has advised.
Speaking in an interview on Monday, Mr Mwanza said it was not fair for Government, through the Zambia Development Agency (ZDA), to slap a 35 percent tax on locals while offering foreign investors a low 15 percent tax.
“It is not fair at all for imposing 35 percent on locals doing the same business with the Sun International, now trading as Avani which has been offered low tax incentives since 1999.
“What is so special about this Avani that it should be paying 15 percent tax when other many Zambians doing the same business and offering the same services are over taxed? Let Government reverse the whole deal,” Mr Mwanza said.
“My appeal to the government is to make the tax uniform not to favour certain individuals,” he added.
Mr Mwanza’s remarks comes after the ZDA was accused of aiding foreign investors, such as Sun International, now trading as Avani which was being charged only 15 percent company tax.
Local tourist operators have demanded that the tax incentive be reversed because it was unfair and disadvantaged local operators.
The local operators contended that the move had caused inconsistencies in the tourism sector.
On Monday, TIKAS lodge proprietor, Peter Banda said Government must quickly address the inconsistencies in the administration of taxes in order to level the playing field in the tourism sector.
He said it was unfair for Government to allow Sun international hotel, now operating as AVANI Victoria Falls Resort, to be paying 15 percent tax when other players in the same sectore were paying more.