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Jun 1, 2015

Mayor Says CITCO Is Accommodating Body 2000

Darrell Bradley

On Friday afternoon, a team of city council personnel, accompanied by police officers, descended on the popular Body 2000 Fitness Center on Coney Drive and proceeded to shut down the gym for failure to keep up with its trade license obligations.  That humiliation, we understand, was repeated again today, despite the training facility opening its doors to club members, including Mayor Darrell Bradley, early this morning.  News Five pressed the mayor for a comment on the issue and, according to him, he was unaware of what transpired at the start of the weekend.  However, Mayor Bradley went on to say that the compliance unit of the Belize City Council has been working closely with Body 2000, together with other businesses, in an effort to meet their financial requirements for trade licenses.


Darrell Bradley, Belize City Mayor

“I don’t know specifically about that issue but I can tell you that at the end of the tax season, the starting of the year, trade licenses are due on the thirty-first of December in each year for the coming year and what our people would do is that for the first three months of the year, in the first quarter, they would do an assessment in relation to who are not compliant with the payment of trade license.  And in the second quarter, usually starting April, the start of the fiscal year, there would be a lot of stop orders issuing, that’s probably, the one with Body 2000, that’s probably one of the most noticeable ones but we do issue quite a bit of stop orders, following the start of the fiscal period in the second quarter because we do need the taxes to be paid.  It’s a legal requirement that you’re paying your taxes.  We use the resources to upgrade the city so that in relation to that, the collection rate for property taxes is pretty high because we have a series of protocols that our staff would implement in relation to collections.  I can tell you that Body 2000 was open this morning because I go to the gym and I was there at a little after 5:30 this morning and it was open.  So typically what we do when we issue a stop order, immediately the proprietor of that business would get in contact with us because of course they don’t want their business to be shut down.  It’s a going concern and they want clients to continue to service their business and it affects their brand if your business is shut down.  It’s something that’s embarrassing and not nice, so that I suspect that they would have contacted our staff and our personnel to deal with whatever the issue is and we try as best as possible to work with business owners.  That’s not the, a stop order is typically not the first thing in terms of protocols that would be issued.  We have a compliance unit, they usually call people, they usually write them a letter.  If we have an issue where we do need to issue a stop order they issue a stop order and we don’t require that the full monies be paid.  Typically what happens is that they enter into a payment arrangement with us and they just commit to us to retire the debt within a short period of time.”

From what we know, City Hall has closed down the gym on a number of other occasions.


Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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