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Aug 19, 2019

G.O.B. Approves CitCo’s Municipal Paper

Cordel Hyde

The Belize City Council, led by Mayor Bernard Wagner, has gotten government’s approval for a municipal paper; a means of short-term financing that is useful in improving CitCo’s cash management system.  The municipal paper will provide the cash-strapped council with an opportunity to improve its cost structure by considerably lowering its financing costs.  This follows recurrent cash flow issues resulting from the seasonal nature of tax collection.  In the house on Friday, Deputy Leader of the Opposition Cordel Hyde acknowledged government’s approval for the initiative but stopped short of thanking government for the gesture.

 

Cordel Hyde, Area Representative, Lake Independence

“I just want to put on record our support for the bill that will allow the Belize City Council to access cheaper money at this time.  Usually the city council, at this time, is in their low season because trade licenses and property taxes are not coming in and they still have to service a [Belize] Waste Control bill for like quarter million dollars per month, salaries for workers which is like seven hundred thousand per month, not to mention cutting grass, digging drains, keeping the streets up and investing in human capital.  So this will allow them to access some cheaper money than they would normally get from the commercial banks, plus they will have some monies extra for projects that will benefit residents of the city.  So I just wanted to put on record our support for it.”

 

Dean Barrow

Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“The Deputy Leader of the Opposition said he supported, he never said thanks and I’m sorry, I would have appreciated a word of thanks because I’ll tell you this, taking up from where the minister left off.  I don’t remember anything similar in like manner or in this kind of a vain ever having been done for any U.D.P. body by any P.U.P. central government and I will tell you further in terms of this particular bill.  The experts who were advising me, the Central Bank and the Ministry of Finance, both wanted the requirement to be put in the bill for a bank guarantee before the city council would be allowed to issue the municipal paper and I said no.  I don’t see any need for that.  If the public wants to subscribe they will subscribe and they will know that they are going into this with their eyes wide open.  If they have the faith in the Belize City Council to invest in the municipal paper without their being a need for the council to have any bank guarantee, so be it.”


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