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Jan 11, 2019

Mayor Wagner Says Property Tax Discount Will Remain at 8%

Bernard Wagner

In November 2018, the Belize City Council announced that it would discontinue the twenty percent discount initiative that property owners took advantage of by paying their property tax before the due date. The problem for the council was that this initiative benefited only those who can afford to pay their tax early, which is a small percentage of the city’s population. Mayor Bernard Wagner decided to reduce the discount to eight percent amidst complaints from various property owners. But Mayor Wagner is sticking to his decision and on Tuesday, he explained why:


Bernard Wagner, Belize City Mayor

“That twenty percent program that you continue to dwell on, in our view as a council does not speak to solidarity. The people who access that twenty percent discount program essentially are people of the higher level. It does not impact the people at the lower level none at all. We made it a concerted effort to ensure that we did not engage in that twenty percent discount. You have to understand that when you are saying twenty percent, that means you are collecting eighty cents for every dollar and there is no way you can sustain that in the end and that is why the previous council always ran in financial problems because you getting the eighty cents out of every dollar early but then down the road that twenty cents is not coming in. We have stayed away from that and we did that deliberately and we have performed well. We have survived the period where the Prime Minister had indicated where we would fail in June. We have passed that benchmark and we are well underway to ensure that we never see those days again.”

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