• Policy Brief

Property Identification for Tax Purposes: Challenges and Opportunities in Zambia


This policy brief delves into a critical barrier to enhancing property tax collection in Zambia: the limited number of properties listed on council valuation rolls. Rooted in the stipulations of the 2018 Rating Act and 1995 Lands Act, this issue stems from the restriction of property taxation to formally registered and planned properties. The brief initially explores the rationale behind this common approach in many sub-Saharan countries, then examines its drawbacks, particularly the expensive and time-consuming property identification process that narrows the property base on valuation rolls and subsequently, the revenue potential of councils.

It also draws comparisons with nations that have eased these requirements, assessing the possible benefits and compromises involved. Special focus is given to the strategies employed by various countries in taxing informal settlements, weighing their associated costs, benefits, and considerations. Ultimately, the brief presents a spectrum of policy alternatives to improve property identification for taxation, exploring scenarios under both the maintenance of current restrictive legislation and the potential relaxation of these laws to include taxation of unregistered or unplanned properties.


Program and Research Intern

Doctoral Fellow

Publication Details

Regan McCort

Program and Research Intern

Regan McCort is pursuing a Masters of Global Affairs at the Munk School with an emphasis in Human Rights and Global Justice. She also holds a Bachelors of Arts specializing in International Relations from the University of Western Ontario. She’s interested in exploring the intersections between taxation, gender, and subnational governance through her work with LoGRI. 

All Contributions

Graeme Stewart-Wilson

Doctoral Fellow