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Aug 5, 2015

Mayor Bradley Says There’ll Be No Residential Garbage Fee…

Darrell Bradley

According to Bradley the Council has paid off what was outstanding to BML in terms of compensation for terminating the contract. He is not considering implementing a proposed ten dollars residential garbage fee floated as a partial response to the issue. There are enough revenues available, he said, to get the amount paid off.

 

Darrell Bradley, Belize City Mayor

“This kinda ties in with the conference; that we look at our various revenue potential and one of it was the residential garbage fee. One of the things that we did was when we did public consultations…while there was a lot of people who were in favor of that fee and I still do believe in that fee, a lot of people raised the argument that that one of things that you should do is go after existing revenues—be it our financial statements, our audit, everything—we made those public online. And people actually looked at those and make representations…before you charge me ten dollars, go after that ten point two million [dollars] weh people owe yo ina back taxes and try to increase your property tax collection rate from sixty-eight percent, which it was about two years ago. Those were some of the strategies that we have implemented so that right now we are reporting in this forum that our collection rate has gone up to seventy-eight; we are almost at eighty percent. What that means is that every single person that we billed in last fiscal year for property taxes, eighty percent of those persons paid their property taxes in that billing cycle and that’s very good because we are the highest in the country. That’s still not an impressive rate because other municipalities who we engage with, their collection rates are like ninety-odd percent. So that we are consistently moving forward in terms of ensuring that we get up there. So that the criticism that we take in terms of the driver’s license things and those kinds of things, they have a positive impact. So that we can say, you pay your property taxes or you won’t get a driver’s license. But on the reverse, you are getting cement streets and also the mayor doesn’t have to implement a ten dollar garbage fee because the taxes that you owe are paying for our debt servicing.”

 

The Council is also working through its issues with Belize Waste Control and hopes to get all of this behind it sooner rather than later. A total of one hundred and forty-seven ex-BML employees took up employment with the Council. Central Government continues to help defray the Council’s costs in paying salaries and part of the weekly payments for both the BML and Waste Control judgments.

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