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Aug 9, 2017

Mayoral Aspirant Philip Willoughby Comes to Rescue

Philip Willoughby

Ryan Davis, who renounced his gang ties and is a part of the Youth Apprenticeship Program, approached Willoughby, who took his case up to the Ministry of Local Government. Poor and indigent persons are covered in a specific section of the Towns Property Tax Act which Willoughby says people can take advantage of despite expected losses for the Council. He also brushed away our questions of the timing of this announcement, during a tough campaign against rival Dion Leslie.

 

Philip Willoughby, Councilor

“Where it is brought to the notice of a local authority that any owner of property in its town is poor and indigent and unable to pay the rate on the property or unable to pay more than a portion thereof, that local authority if satisfied as to the truth of those facts shall, before any steps are taken to enforce payment of such rate under this Act, transmit to the Minister for his information a statement of the case containing the name of the owner… and from there we do the due diligence and we proceed to write off the tax and give those persons who fall within the law the ease that they need. It does two things for us: it takes the burden off the property owner who is unable to pay; as well it helps us to clear up our receivables and before it reaches our bad debt we clear it up through provisions for bad debts and that improves our financial position because that uncollectable receivable will be taken off the books. Councilor Hyacinth Latchman-Cuellar will be asked to deal with the P.R. aspect of this from here on in; and then Councilor Alifa Elrington will be looking at the legal aspects to facilitate the residents of the city who fits and meets the requirements within the law.”

 

Reporter

“It is election season, no going around that; but is this something that the Council agree on jointly, outside of this election situation? I’m trying to establish that it is not a political ploy as opposed to a Council policy.”

 

Philip Willoughby

“The law is the law. The law is the law; I don’t know how policy overrides law. The law stated what I read to you, and it is by virtue of that and that is the merit of the matter – that if you simply cannot pay, if you are unable to pay, then you need to apply the law where it needs to be applied; that’s all I am saying.”

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