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Jan 29, 2010

Fleecing of the old capital: more revelations from CitCo audit

The result of an audit at City Hall was released some months ago, but few have seen a complete copy. That is because it contains highly damaging information about city hall’s finances.  We have already reported on tradeoffs and write offs on trade licenses and last night, we touched on the excessive amount of monies spent on fuel. We focus tonight on the examination of Property Tax accounts for the period of April 2003 to December 2008 which, to say the least, is quite alarming.  The audit revealed that the council charged nine percent fees on property owners instead of the five percent governed by regulations. Since property owners were excessively overcharged, the questions remain: how much money the council actually received since it exceeded collections by eighty percent during the five years and eight months period?  And will those taxpayers get a refund?  All that’s left to be seen, but we do know that City Hall is bankrupt. The council’s accounting books are a prime example of what bookkeepers should never do under any circumstance and just about everything that could have gone wrong, went wrong.

Another prime example is the Social Security contributions and income tax withholdings for employees from January 2006 to December 2008.  The auditors simply calls the council’s actions negligent because for the three year period it collected vast sums from employees and most of that money never made it to Social Security’s accounts. In 2007 the council deducted over eighty-three thousand dollars from employees’ salaries which, combined with the council’s contributions, would amount to over two hundred and sixty thousand dollars payable to Social Security. Well, over seventy thousand dollars in contributions were not paid that year. It doesn’t get better because in 2008, ninety thousand dollars were deducted from employees and when you throw in the council’s contribution, the total should have been two hundred and eighty-seven thousand nine hundred and six dollars. But the council paid less than twenty-two thousand dollars.  So in two years, the council did not pay about three hundred and thirty-seven thousand dollars in contributions. No one knows for sure where the money went.  The audit cites numerous other transactions and payments made that are bloated and excessive and they all demonstrate why the council has been unable to keep its books balanced. According to the report, the auditors could not complete the review because many of the records of payments were not given to them.

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5 Responses for “Fleecing of the old capital: more revelations from CitCo audit”

  1. Fer de Lance says:

    This just goes to show how corrupt our government and politicians are in general. There is no negligence here… just pure thievery. You cannot tell me that the city council did not realize that they have been charging 9% instead of the 5%. Whose pocket has this money been going into??? I despise both parties for the way they behave. They act as if they are better than each other, but they are one and the same. There is not clear definition between the UDP and the PUP. They both strive to line their pockets as much as they can, and the Belizean people believe their lies and vote for parties instead of voting for what is better for the country. I come from a family that is divided by red and blue and I think them idiots for the way they believe. People do not see that our politicians have only their best interest in mind and screw our Jewel. No matter if it is the tax payers money or the special interest groups who line their pockets, they do not care. I am sick and tired of reading and hearing the news about money being missing or ministers losing brand new vehicles to accidents and no one being held accountable for the loss. As I travel Belize and see the late model vehicles being driven by our local politicians while the people scrounge to make ends meet… it makes me abhor our politicians more and more. I have experienced politicians confiscating land leased by constituents to give to their cronies or better yet… family members, especially in the Corozal district. All the politicians look for is what they can get while they are in office… People of Belize, stop voting along party lines, and start voting for who is best for our country. We have people making decisions and holding ministerial posts, who do not know a damn thing about the post they are holding. Let me differ once again to Corozal and the Minister of Health. What background does he have in medicine. We have to hire another person to manage the minister of Health. We are paying a salary which can better be used in other areas. I hope that our Belizean people will wake up and start doing what is best for the country and not for the party, because the parties are no different from each other.

  2. MR. V says:

    All city councilors should be held responsible, starting with the mayor. the mayor should serve time for such an action and so it makes an example for others who take the seat. also the accountants should be criminally charges as an accessory in helping the mayor. all those involved should be fired and or charged. The Belizean people deserve this much at the least, for we are loosing our trust with our elected leaders. So i call upon the prime minister to do something about this!!!!

  3. blvnjah says:

    just more evidence of how corrupted our politicians are and it shows that it’s all about them and what they can get before they get ‘booted out’.

  4. Romar says:

    I cannot believe all the things happennig in the government, they did an audit in one town council imagine what would happen if they do it to all the town councils and to the central government. I wonder what will happen and what they will find out, how much millions of dollars will un accounted for and mis used. Everything that you do in this world you pay for it before you die. Everything that you hide eventually comes out. UDP and PUP your days are coming, a new party will rise up and win because we are getting fed up with all your corruption.

  5. Ter says:

    Not only Belize City Council should be audited, This should be done all over the country even Village Councils, town boards,….. at least once a year. Look at San Pedro, the have a bridge where they charge 10bzd round trip and they even got the nerve to charge for bikes, after all these years you think they would have fixed the streets going that way, Oh but no they have not.

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