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Jan 2, 2013

Mayor reviewing Chamber’s Trade License Assessment

Darrell Bradley

The Belize City business community is experiencing an increase in Trade License fees. Rates for most affected businesses have been increased from ten to thirty percent while fees for a few have skyrocketed to two hundred percent. That is because the Trade License fee is calculated using the rental value of properties. Mayor of Belize City Darrell Bradley says that he will speak to the Minister of Labor and Local Government Godwin Hulse regarding the legislation and a committee will also review a list compiled by the Belize Chamber of Commerce on behalf of its members whose fees have been stepped-up.

 

Darrell Bradley, Belize City Mayor

“We received a communication for the Chamber of Commerce asking us to review sixty odd assessments that we had done. Most of the assessments that were including on this list, the range in increases from ten percent and the most significant one had an increase of two hundred and something percent. These increases were brought about because we have been going through the trade license rolls and we have been increasing where persons were substantially under-assessed. And so some people will see some significant increases in certain respects. Most of the persons on that list were not touched very hardly; it was about ten to maybe twenty or thirty percent. Land so what we are doing, we are looking at that list. I have a meeting this afternoon with the Minister of Local Government, but we’ve indicated that persons need to pay their assessments. If persons can show us in accordance with the law that the assessments were done outside of the scope of the law, then in those circumstances, we will do a reassessment. It can’t be just that people are coming and they are asking us to review. The revision process has already passed. And so what we have indicated to the Chamber preliminarily and what we will indicate this afternoon to the Minister of Local Government is that we are prepared to review any person’s trade assessment and we are prepared to do so within the period of five working days. So this is not going to be any prolonged process. So if any person feels aggrieved, they can ask us to look at it again. There is also in law an appeals process, but of course the appeals process for trade goes through the court and that can be a very lengthy process. So if persons have any kind of reason why they are saying that their trade assessment is too high, they could come to us and it is a very simply process. We look at the annual rental value that has been assessed by our own persons and then we look at any value that they are saying is their true annual rental value. And if there is any difference, then we will give a reassessment.”

 

Jose Sanchez

“In regards to the law itself, is that something that will be discussed with the Minister of Local Government?”

 

Darrell Bradley

“Well from the first week that I because mayor, I raised that issue with certain pieces of legislation that needs to change. One of the things that we are trying to do as City Council is to grow small business. And this was something that I flagged in March. Nobody paid attention in March that the trade license fee is twenty-five percent of your annual rental value. That means that any business in Belize City pays roughly three months rent in your assessment and the law provides that you pay that in advance of trade year. So you are supposed to pay that by January one for your future revenues. It is something that is very stifling on small businesses ad it is a rate that I think was calculated in a time when there were very few businesses in the city and there were only large business who could afford to pay that rate. This is something that we had looked at. We had raised it before with the Ministry of Local Government; we had raised it before with the Chamber of Commerce. So it can’t be a situation when people get assessed at the actually rate prescribed by law that they complain. It is something that we need to look at and it is something really frankly that the business community needs to take a lead on.”

 

The mayor says that if the business community wants the trade license percentage changed, they have to seek legislative amendments with central government. Bradley says that he has recommended the implementation of a categorization system for small businesses with a special rate and payment schedules could replace one full payment due every January first.

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3 Responses for “Mayor reviewing Chamber’s Trade License Assessment”

  1. Ricky Malthus says:

    What is there to review , Bradley, you clod? Just get rid of the Trade License concept. The businesses paid for this already through custom duties, replacement taxes, environmental taxes, businesses taxes, personal taxes, general sales taxes, corruption taxes, property taxes, etc., . It seems the only thing that this UDP government learned is how to mismanage and to be inept since independence. Behave yourself, bwai.

  2. Rod says:

    Instead of stealing from then public ask him what he is doing about all the crime why are these people not being held accountable for all the crimes in this country what is he doing to curb crime stop the thief and contraband and do your job or get out .

  3. Eye in the Sky says:

    Leave the Mayor alone !
    He is too busy smuggling beer out of the free zone to be consearned about the problems in Belize City.

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