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Dec 6, 2012

Trade license gone up

Darrell Bradley

With the record pace at which the Mayor of Belize City is repairing streets, streamlining the council’s collection of fees is also on a fast pace, much to the chagrin of some businesses. In some cases trade licenses for businesses have shot up by sixty percent. But Mayor Darrell Bradley says, he’s only equalizing the playing field where in the past there was a disparity in the amount that similar businesses pay. And if you are dissatisfied by the hundreds or thousands more that you are paying, the Mayor says you can take it to a justification board at the council where the matter can be discussed.


Darrell Bradley, Mayor, Belize City

“If individual persons have a complaint and this is what we are doing. We are making sure that the appeals process is very efficient so that if any person queries their assessment, then they can take it to a very efficient board. The board is comprised of three persons and it can be done within a matter of two weeks and they can then justify whether or not it was something that was done arbitrary and in this case there will be a reduction or then we could justify that the increase was proper in which case the assessment would stand. The real point that I would like to make is that all increases are increases that can be justified. And we have explain to individual business persons why this increase was necessary and in terms of the range. As I said, just to satisfy persons, it is not that we are signaling out particular businesses or any one or few people, but I think that when we do that explanation, then people are satisfied. People don’t mind paying, but want to know that they are paying a fair amount. Of course, from a business standpoint, it impacts your budget if you get a significant increase because that is not something that you were forecasting or that you had in your budget. So we are mindful of all those things, but the idea of this is not to raise revenues, but to balance off the trade-rolls and this is why we made it public; so that persons can look for themselves on the trade-rolls which is on our websites and they can satisfy themselves that what they are paying is the same amount that a similar size business would pay. One of the things that we had done is that we had looked at the trade-rolls which is public.   So every person can check how everybody else pays in terms of trade licenses. And what noticed is that there was a significant amount of disparity. And the actual calculation and assessment wasn’t being followed. So, you have persons who are paying significant amounts, and persons who are paying very little. And what we did is we equalized it. Some persons, we brought them down to manageable limits, and then, others persons who were paying very little compared to their rental value, we had to increase them so that we could match it. The reason why some people will experience an increase is because of that balance, and every single increase that we have made, we can justify. And persons had written us, and what we are doing is that we are providing justification.  I had our valuation manager go out to several businesses to explain the basis of any increase.”


Jules Vasquez, 7News

“So it’s not arbitrary?”



Darrell Bradley

“It’s not arbitrary and I have also provided information to several business persons also to justify the increases. And what we’ve done, we have given them the comparisons to show them in relation to their business and businesses of similar size of how much the average range is and many of them were satisfied. People don’t mind paying—of course, you can’t do any kind of significant increase—but people don’t mind paying as long as they know and they are satisfied that they are paying the same amount of money that other people of similar business size are paying.”


The council also intends to implement a ten dollars garbage tax per household, which is projected to take effect in January.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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6 Responses for “Trade license gone up”

  1. Storm says:

    Shouldn’t all these new fees be written down and voted on publicly? Should they be public and reported in the press before they go into effect? Or have we arrived at the point of arbitrary confiscation of private property to sustain Citco?

    The power to tax is the power to destroy.

    Without written laws and regulations that are known by all and applied equally to all, taxation can easily be used to destroy political opponents and critics, business competitors, and simply just personal enemies. It can be like the Biblical story of King David, who selected a soldier to go on a suicide mission because David wanted to sleep with the victim’s wife.

    I hope this process is applied fairly to all.

  2. Ricky Malthus says:

    The complete idea of requiring a ” Trade License ” to do business in Belize is absurd since this cost is passed on to the consumers who are already heavily taxed. This continues to depress the economy which causes inflation which causes businesses to cease hiring which increases unemployment ( which cause Belizeans to flee to Canada & USA to seek jobs). All these bad economic policies will come back to haunt this government. So we gain a few paved streets which should have been done anyway with property taxes and government subventions. Now the subventions will be used to pay the bond and poor Joe Slow Public will not have $200 per bond pop to feed himself and his children. Belizeans are so slow to understand what is going on around them that they have become inured to the pain and injustice that engulf them. Have a gloomy Christmas without money to buy presents for your loved ones and without that turkey and “rice and beans” to share with everyone. But I hope you can walk on marbled streets .

  3. Barack Obama says:

    You full of crop Darrell. Nobody will be satisfied it they are now paying more.

  4. Bear says:

    @Malthus, you’re 100% right — EVERY tax on business and the “rich” is passed down the line to the poor people, in higher prices,lost jobs, or some other way. A plumber once told me that all we need to know about plumbing is, “Sewage runs downhill,” and it’s absolutely true with taxes, too.

  5. Joe D says:

    Storm no need to defend the Mayor but he has actually opened up the Trade Licence for all to see. You go to the Belize City Council website and you can see what different businesses are paying now. You will notice that changes were needed. I support equalizing the playing field

  6. Storm says:

    Thanks, Joe D.

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