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Oct 5, 2012

Can CitCo suspend license in lieu of property tax payment?

Alifah Elrington-Hyde

And while Martinez is prepared to walk to the court to defend his name, many Belize City residents may soon be taking a longer walk because of the Belize City Council. It appears that City Hall, in an effort to collect almost seventeen million dollars in unpaid debts, is now enforcing an existing law on motorists. Application and renewal of driver’s licenses are being suspended for persons who are behind in paying property taxes, as well as trade and liquor licensing fees. CitCo says that the decision is well within its legal capacity; freezing the issuance or renewal of licenses, however, it is creating an inconvenience for vehicle owners.  Alifah Elrington-Hyde is the councilor responsible for traffic.

 

Alifah Elrington-Hyde, Councilor Responsible for Traffic

“It is not the property tax that is tied to the renewal of your driver’s license or your vehicle license or your registration.  The Belize City Council Act allows us to withhold any services from any member [resident] of Belize City if they have outstanding arrears with the council.  A lot of people have outstanding property tax, a lot of people have liquor license tax, trade license tax.  All these different fees are outstanding.  We have fees over ten million dollars that are outstanding to the council.  When we came into council we made it very clear, I’ve said it several times on the radio that we are stepping up enforcements because we have a vision for the city.  As people can see we are working hard to get the streets in order but in addition to the streets we want to get the other aspects that we are responsible for in order.  We want to be able to have better traffic management.  We want to be able to have better services in general for the Belize citizenry and the only way that we can do that is if we have money.  So when people don’t pay their property taxes, they don’t pay their trade licenses or their liquor license fee then we have to scramble for money, which is unnecessary.  So it is, of course, it’s going to be the situation where the drivers license and the registration and that aspect that people will feel the brunt of it, but the reality is it’s any service that we offer.  We are not offering to the public if they’re in arrears with their taxes, any taxes.”

 

Isani Cayetano

“One of the issues with regards to this particular matter is the fact that, where it concerns the collection of the property tax, I was informed that the way it usually worked, in some cases, is that a collecting agent would actually be sent out into the particular areas to do the collection on behalf of the council and apparently there was a suspension of this particular activity, if I may, for quite a while.  Can you explain if it is incumbent upon the individual citizen or is it a slipup on the part of the council?”

 

Alifah Elrington-Hyde

“The payment of the property tax is ultimately the citizens’ responsibility.  It is not our responsibility for you to come out and pay your property tax.”

 

According to the Belize City Council, a notice had been placed in the weekly newspapers prior to enforcement of the act.  Hyde also says that the council is willing to waive suspension in the case of residents with similar names, providing that proof of identity and receipts of payments are submitted.

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6 Responses for “Can CitCo suspend license in lieu of property tax payment?”

  1. Storm says:

    It’s a good idea. I would give some warning, but after a time with no payment, I don’t see why people should enjoy privileges from the government if they aren’t paying the government what they owe. In the States, I’ve read, professionals can even lose their licenses for not paying certain debts, including child support. Why chase deadbeats, when you can force them to come to you by taking away their licenses?

    On the bigger perspective, I think every government fee and tax should be reviewed with a view to reducing or eliminating as many as possible. Government wastes too much tax money from hardworking people. The less we give them, the less they can waste and steal.

  2. Ricky Malthus says:

    I predict a bloody revolution against the UDP government within two years because of the oppressive behaviour and indifferent concern for the economic well-being of Belizeans. The Belize City Council action is a page cut directly out of Apartheid South Africa against SWAPO and the poor Black South Africans and that was to deny amenities and health programmes. The only difference is that in South Africa it was white violence against black freedom fighters; now in Belize , it is official Black violence against uneducated, supine Black people. Can you dig it Black Power Amandala?

  3. Al says:

    Go after the people who are stealing the money that they people paid for their property tac. The people pay and the thieves take it. This is like pouring water through a funnel with nothing to catch it , except the crooked people in the office end up with the money.

    So you take the people’s land and the thieving politicians and employees are given a licence to keep on stealing people’s hard earned property tax payment.

  4. Julio says:

    The city has to do what i has to do to pay its debts and service the city! we can not expect good streets, good drainage and garbage collection if we are not paying our taxes. i saw the list printed on the amanadala of people that owe taxes.. most of them are big time business owners. I pay mi damn taxes every year on time and tell you the truth this has been the first time in many years that i am actually seeing where my money is being used. This is not politics this is a mayor trying to fulfill his mandate. we want a better city we must pay for it. We cant let the middle class of this country continue to carry the load for the rich or the poor.. if some of us can make it i no see why we all cant. There is a lot of work to do in Belize but we must get off our lazy butts and start doing the work!!

  5. Greeneyes says:

    I agree Julio, it pisses me off when people are so colored blinded by politics they don’t see the good in anything. I pay my tax why can’t they. Belizean have been spoil too long…. we need to set this thing across the board.

  6. Cruffy says:

    I am sure some big time UDP owe taxes as well, but their names do not appear on the list. I recall one big time UDP owed 1 milllion dollars in sales tax and social security payments. nothing was done he was rewarded with a lease contract from this UDP government
    .

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