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Jan 11, 2013

City Hall services now tied to overdue citizen bills

Darrell Bradley

Motorists, property and business owners are being affected by the latest plan devised by City Hall to collect outstanding revenue owed in taxes. The Mayor says that persons who owe the city will have to pay up if they want to continue using services offered by the city.  City Hall’s newest way to collect income is through drivers’ licenses. So if you are going to renew your driver’s license while owing either trade license or property tax, it will be necessary to have additional cash on hand. Many residents have been turned away from license renewals and are driving illegally because they can’t pay outstanding taxes. But the Mayor says that will kick in if you owe more than three years in taxes.

 

Darrell Bradley, Belize City Mayor

“We are in the process of for the first time linking all our databases so that our property and our trade database is linked with our traffic database. So that we have one master system which indicates to us every single resident and what every single resident procures in terms of services from the City: if you have a driver’s license, if you own a business, if you have a liquor license; if you own property and paying property taxes. And because we are connecting all of those systems, we have set a policy to say, if you owe us on any one of your accounts, then we will not provide services to you in respect of any service that you procure from the city. And the reason being is that it is very costly to provide the services that we provide. And this mechanism in terms of improving our technology has allowed us to be more efficient in collections. So if this person goes and they want a driver’s license, the system will pull up whether they owe any property taxes and we are asking them to settle the property taxes before we issue the driver’s license.”

 

Jose Sanchez

“Many people are saying it is hard times; they can’t necessarily pay. So is there a systems that’s going to be in place to say whether or not that they can still get the service; can they come to an agreement?”

 

Darrell Bradley

“By and large about ninety percent of the people who this has affected, essentially what we require is that you would put a down payment on whatever areas that you owe; and we are not talking about one year. So if you owe one year property taxes or trade, you will not be flags. The system only flags you if you owe three years. And so what we are asking is if you owe three years of arrears, we are requiring that you put down payment and you would enter then with us an agreement where you are going to commit to retiring that within a certain time. So we are not going to prevent you from getting your driver’s license, but you would have to get some sort of agreement that we are really serious  on the collection of areas—arrears of property and trade.”

 

Jose Sanchez

“This is something that you don’t need to get legislation for? This is legal.”

 

Darrell Bradley

“It is legal and it already provides in terms of some of the existing legislation. For example, trade license. The legislation specifically says that a person can be denied a trade license if they owe the city any fees. So you have to be current. What we are doing is that we are moving ahead to ensure that that kind of framework and mechanism is in place in all our existing legislation or our policy. At present this is only a policy of the City Council, but we want to move ahead to ensure that we are on all fours with the laws in treating people fairly. We do understand that times are hard, but we are on a very aggressive timetable in terms of the construction of streets and the restoration of our city and we depend on revenues in order to get these street work funded.”

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14 Responses for “City Hall services now tied to overdue citizen bills”

  1. Storm says:

    Squeeze the blood out of the people, Mayor!

    Before the Emperor enforces this new policy, he should open ALL the City financial records, so we actually know what is being collected, AND WHERE IT IS BEING SPENT.

    Why does he suddenly need more and more money, more than any other Mayor ever had? THE MONEY BELONGS TO THE PUBLIC, NOT TO THE MAYOR, NOT TO CITCO — SO LET’S SEE THE BOOKS!

  2. Jones says:

    Again…best Major ever. Very efficient, clear cut, to the point and doesn’t beat around the bush.

  3. Ricky Malthus says:

    This is blackmail. Pretty soon one will have to be a certain race, or certain shade or hue of black,spanish, garifuna to obtain city services. Bradley, please account for our tax money received through subventions. Bradley, are you a carbon copy or micro Barrow?

  4. Arthur S says:

    Darrell Bradley arrogance will make him a hated Mayor. His future political chances are already ruined.

  5. not again says:

    @ Arthur S He dont care after this he will go to the U.S.A. And bye, bye tax money.

  6. Eye in the Sky says:

    Has the Mayor ever been charged for the contraband Mexican beer ????????????????

    ??????????

  7. blvnjah says:

    not exactly sure why efficiency and accountability is causing such a push back from the public. YOU USE SERVICES—PAY FOR SERVICES. no one fusses if your cable/light/water or gas gets turned off for non payment. why is any other service provided to you different???

  8. Seletar says:

    Why is this mayor so hell-bent on squeezing every dollar and diverting other government money for “aggressive” street work? And what do these fees have to do with the streets — he got his own little bond piggybank to steal from for that. There are other essential city services that must be performed.

    I hope some reporter or civic organization will scratch the surface of the street contracts and see who receives the bribes and kickbacks. FOLLOW THE MONEY!!!

  9. Jay Mac says:

    I believe we will look back on this Mayor and say, he did a great job overall!

  10. Jessica says:

    Thats a Mayor thats working. Go Mr. Bradley, we will vote for you again. All the way.

  11. Lois Cardona says:

    What’s next to pop out of the hat? The T.V. Licence and Cellular Phone Tax??

  12. check it out says:

    he is quoting the law now, how when he was caught with contraband beer from Chetumal, that,s the problem with having lawyers run this country.

  13. LIVITY says:

    WHERE IS THE BOOKS MEIN SHOW IT TO US NOW OK, MR,
    MAJOR

  14. Bear says:

    @Lois Cardona, PLEASE DON’T GIVE HIM IDEAS FOR NEW TAXES!!!!! That will be the only time he listens to a constituent.

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