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Jul 2, 2019

Senator Lizarraga says Belizeans Should be Concerned of B.T.L.’s Financial Records

Working documents leaked to the media show a fifty million dollars G.S.T. debt reportedly owed by state-owned Belize Telemedia Limited. The documents surfaced last week and it showed that between 2011 and 2017, B.T.L. racked up tens of millions of dollars in taxes. The company has refused the allegation, saying that it continues to be up to date with its taxes and owes the government not a single penny. Financial Secretary Joseph Waight confirmed to News Five that the General Sales Tax Department is presently auditing B.T.L.’s financials. Speaking on the documents was Senator for the Private Sector, Mark Lizarraga, who called for an independent audit. According to Lizarraga, all Belizeans should be concerned with the reports because B.T.L. has been investing millions of dollars over the last few years.

 

Mark Lizarraga

Mark Lizarraga, Senator for Private Sector

“The numbers that they are reporting for business tax differs substantially from the numbers they are reporting for G.S.T., some hundred and ninety six million dollars difference. One would have to ask the question why is that number so large? Is there a problem with the way they are reporting? Is it that the right hand does not know what the left hand is doing? We are very concerned about this company. I must say this because this is a publicly owned company. I don’t care what the Attorney General says about it being a private company. We guaranteed loans recently, major loans for this company. This company recently has invested over a hundred million in 4G. It saw to invest another hundred million in fiber. It is seeking, I understand, to raise funds now for 5G for some one hundred and fifty million dollars. We keep see monies barrowed and spent and we don’t believe that these things will ever be paid for; they will ever produce a return on investment that any other investor investing his or her money would expect. So we are extremely concerned about these huge burdens being placed on the shoulders of the Belizean people. More so now when this huge corporate citizen appears to be in default of taxes.”


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