City Hall urges debtors to pay outstanding taxes
The Georgetown Mayor and City Council needs to meet 80 per cent of its collection of rates and taxes in order to be sufficiently equipped to carryout projects.
And according to City Mayor, Alfred Mentore, the council is willing to work with businesses and agencies that have outstanding debts.
Mentore, during a recent interview with the News Room, said the City Council wants to increase it the rates and taxes collected to properly fund its projects around the city.
But, the Chief Citizen said without collecting the outstanding debt, it cannot take the proposal forward. Mentore explained that there is not enough money to fund projects and there is a need for additional works that are often left behind.
He said the city council has considered several innovative forms of increasing funds but the issue remains at the rates and taxes collection.
He said the plan now is to collect outstanding dues and then looking at a possible increase.
“We’ve been working in many ways, fashion and forms to be innovative and generate more funds.
“I think one of the things we have considered is the issue concerning our rates and tax collection. It’s not in the way in which it should, ideally if 100 per cent of the people pay, we’ll be able to do more things. Under the previous Minister of Local Government and Regional Development, Nigel Dharamlall, he suggested that until the council reach to a point where you have 80 to 95 per cent collection only then we will be able to look at certain rate increase or something of that sort.
“We’ve been working to be able to give those people financial breaks,” Mentore said.
He said the council doesn’t want to take persons to court over the outstanding monies but the reality is that without the money, projects are not funded.
He said this year the city’s budget was approximately $2.4 billion and consultations will soon commence for the 2024 budget. He urged that persons take into consideration the many projects that are affected when the council cannot properly fulfil its duties.
The mayor is expected to meet with Attorney General Anil Nandlall soon to discuss a way forward in collecting the outstanding debts.