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Jun 29, 2017

Trade License Fees to be Standardized

The mayor also announced today that the City Council will be introducing a new trade license regime in the coming days.  According to Mayor Darrell Bradley, the new system will cause a decline in revenue which local government currently collects since it standardizes the fees that are being paid by certain businesses.  Bradley says payments will now range from one hundred and fifty dollars to sixty thousand dollars, depending on the size of the company.  The idea is that the new regime will also allow for greater transparency and accountability.

 

Darrell Bradley

Darrell Bradley, Belize City Mayor

“The reform that has been undertaken is not something that we are one hundred percent comfortable with.  One of the things that we had looked at is to go to a fee structure that is a fully fixed fee, meaning that one of the things that we had really suggested is that for there to be absolute certainty in the legislation you want a fixed fee.  If I’m a lawyer there’s a fixed fee assigned to that, so all attorneys pay five hundred dollars, all accountants pay five hundred dollars, all architects pay five hundred dollars.  That’s not what we have because of concerns raised from the municipalities in relation to the need to generate income, because of concerns raised by other stakeholders, because of the ongoing dialogue with the chamber of commerce and other policy considerations.  What you have is a bridging.  There is still a range in relation to the fee, but there is a great degree of certainty to it because there is a fixed fee.  What the legislation will provide is for all municipalities, the nine municipalities in Belize who pay this tax there will be a fixed table for each municipality based on ranges of rental values and the fee commences from a hundred and fifty dollars to sixty thousand dollars based on what your rental value is.  So that we agreed as a municipality what our range would be, we’re moving away from the existing law which provides for twenty-five percent of your annual rental value and in replacement of that there will be a fixed fee.  So, for example, if your rental value is one thousand dollars to four thousand dollars, your fixed fee may be two hundred dollars, so that we are adding a great degree of certainty to the legislation.  Nobody has to discuss or look at or wonder what your twenty-five percent will be, so that for purposes of good administrative practice there’s a great degree of transparency and accountability to the regime itself.”

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