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Oct 18, 2016

Belize City Council is Preparing to Introduce Long-Awaited Trade License Reform

Darrell Bradley

The Belize City Council is preparing to introduce long-awaited trade license reform in the commercial capital which should see business owners getting some relief in the area of trade licenses.  That announcement was made on Monday by Mayor Darrell Bradley who told the media that the process is the result of the work of a taskforce assigned to look at the issue of the existing trade license regime.  Prior to the rollout, a series of consultations are being held citywide with business owners in various communities.

 

Darrell Bradley, Belize City Mayor

“We have been meeting with various stakeholders, especially the Chamber of Commerce over the last two years to look at a possible fix that could reform the trade license regime.  This was one of things when I became mayor was raised to me as a serious, serious concern.  I think it was largely recognized that the trade license calculation is too high and in terms of the determination it’s very arbitrary so that the Chamber of Commerce had engaged the Belize City Council very early on and we had formed a taskforce with membership from the Ministry of Local Government in the person of the Director of Local Government Eugene Palacio, various members of the Belize City Council, including our Director of Finance, our technical staff and then also members of the Chamber of Commerce who have been sitting down over the last two years to look at various proposals in relation to reform.  Ideally, the idea would be that we would want to either phase out trade license as a fee or we would want to move to a fixed fee which would see a very low nominal fee just for business entry purposes and the emphasis then would be on regulation.  That’s not what we are in the process of discussing at this present moment but one of the things that we have said is that even though we want to bring the work of the taskforce to some degree of finality and we want to implement a system of reform.  This tax year we would want the conversation to continue going on to the future so that we could get something that is a better fit.”

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