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Oct 15, 2021

Villages Will Be Able to Charge Trade License Fees

This week’s Cabinet brief also noted that for the first time villages will be able to charge for trade licenses.  But, in a time of economic hardship when small and micro businesses are already feeling a financial pinch, the concern is that such a reform will bring added strain to small and micro businesses in rural communities. CEO Shal offered an explanation of the Ministry’s intent.

 

Valentino Shal, CEO, Rural Transformation

“The reason for this is that, twenty years ago when the Village Council Act was passed,  village councilors were given responsibilities to run their villages, but there were never given any resources with which to carry out those responsibilities. So they always struggle. So the government is finding a way to have the villagers, when they form their village councils, to have access to resources. The trade license fee is just one measure. There are several other measures as part of the overall village council reform process that we are engaging that will provide additional resources for village councils for them to take care of their community and advance development. We have several large villages where large businesses, you have gas stations, hotels, supermarkets, such as in Placencia, Caye Caulker and Ladyville who don’t pay any taxes. And, if you notice the streets, football field, yard of the community center, it’s unkempt because the village councils don’t have the resources to clean them. So, these larger villages with larger businesses will be able to collect significant resource which they can use for upkeep. This is where it is going. It is not the little corner shop that sells ideal that is not what we are talking about.”


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