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May 16, 2022

G.O.B. Offers Clarity on Trade Licensing Bill 2022

Oscar Requeña

Over the weekend the Ministry of Rural Transformation, Community Development, Labor and Local Government issued a release on the Trade Licensing Bill 2022 to clarify what they say is erroneous and misleading representation on social media. It is a two-page document that highlights eleven points. Among the many questions being asked is whether roadside vendors will be taxed under the new regime. In the release, the ministry says the proposed bill does not levy any fees against this type of business.  When it comes to taxes for onstage live performers and entertainers conducting concert performances, the ministry says these forms of engagements are to be declared by respective local authorities, but such fee is per event and should not exceed two hundred dollars. This fee is not applicable to free and charitable events, under the proposed bill. The bill was tabled for its first reading only and has been referred to the Political and Constitutional Reform Committee for consideration. Minster Oscar Requeña gave this rationale for necessity of the new tax regime.


Oscar Requeña, Minister of Labour, Local Development and Rural Development

“Why is a trade license necessary? It is necessary to allow for local authority to regulate the conduct of trade within the local space, to allow for the protection of the public health and safety, to allow for the local authority to provide the necessary municipal services. Finally, to legitimize the applicant’s privilege to conduct such trade within the local space. Madam Speaker, the goal is really to create an enabling environment for economic growth and facilitating business development in Belize as outlined under plan Belize. Finally Madam Speaker, this reform is in keeping with the Ministry’s strategic commitment to reform and strengthened the legal and regulatory framework for the local government sector, advance the government’s plan Belize manifesto commitment, and to advance goal eleven of the S.D.G.s through creating sustainable communities.”

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