ALL taxes of a local nature will be left to councils countrywide while the abolished crop levy will be reintroduced, President Michael Sata has announced.
Mr Sata said crop levy and other council revenue sources which were abolished by the previous administration will be brought back.
Mr Sata said crop levy made a significant contribution to the revenue of most district councils prior to its abolishment.
The President announced this in a speech read for him by Vice-President, Guy Scott at Chrismar Hotel in Livingstone yesterday during the official opening of the 56th annual conference of the Local Government Association of Zambia (LGAZ).
The theme of the LGAZ annual conference is "Embracing Change and Positive Dialogue for Service Delivery."
"As you all know, in 2011, the allocation to local government was K135 billion. This year, my Government has increased the figure to K257 billion. This is not all, we are geared to ensure that taxes of a local nature are left to local government including the restoration of other local sources such as the crop levy which was abolished by the previous regime," he said.
The President said Government's position was to give full political support to the creation of realistic valuation rolls and to remove the red tape associated with the revision of valuation rolls.
"This is being addressed by the Ministry of Local Government and Housing and we should see positive results soon," he said.
Mr Sata said the Government would drive decentralisation which would promote democratic, accountable and autonomous local authorities with a strong financial base.
He said he had listened to the plight of councillors as regards the need to properly remunerate them with keen interest, having been a councillor before.
The President agreed with councillors that if the nation was to develop the capacity of local Government to effectively deliver, the welfare of councillors as decision makers had to be given prominence.
"Indeed we can no longer continue regarding councillors as voluntary workers because their governance role equals all of us. I have noted that LGAZ has made submissions to Government on how this matter should be addressed," he said.
Meanwhile, Local Government and Housing Minister Nkandu Luo has directed councils countrywide to start raising awareness on the importance of cleanliness.
Speaking at the same function, Prof Nkandu Luo directed councils countrywide to start raising awareness on the importance of cleanliness so that traders realise the dangers of street vending.
The minister said so far the local authorities had failed to provide evidence to prove that the Government had directed that street vendors should remain in the streets.
"Councils should start raising awareness so that people realise the dangers of street vending as such trading is a source of diseases like cholera and typhoid," she said.
LGAZ president Daniel Chisenga commended the PF Government for its support to local government.
Mr Chisenga, who is Lusaka Mayor, said President Sata's support to local government could be seen in a number of policy pronouncements made so far since the PF assumed office last year.