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Will increased City taxes cost APNU+AFC political support?

Chairman of the Georgetown Mayor and City Council’s Finance Committee, Oscar Clarke does not believe that there will be political fallout as a result of increased taxation on businesses and residents in the municipality.

Political Scientist Freddie Kissoon agrees that the City needs increased revenue, but reasons that the APNU+AFC coalition is already losing political support on the ground because the proposed 10 percent across-the board hike in rates and taxes valuation list does not take cater for those who cannot afford to pay much more. “The increase in taxes cannot be across-the-board for the fact that you have to take into consideration different types of socio-economic groups, for example South Georgetown…that should always be the approach of government that you cannot lump the rich and the lower class and the middle class together,” he said.

Clarke said the across-the-board rate hike, which would form part of  the 2017 City Budget, would not include new and improved properties whose market values are being determined by the Ministry of Finance’s Valuation Division.

With the last property valuation dating back to 1996, Clarke defended the across-the-board method, saying that each property owner would be bearing the same weight. He does not expect the APNU+AFC coalition to lose political support as a result of increased property taxes and the parking meters. “Not really! We are talking about next year’s rates,” he said, adding that he disagrees that parking meters will not affect every citizen. “What we have to do is to make the parking meter cost more amenable to the people who have to bear the cost.”

Clarke brushed off suggestions that the increase in existing taxes and the introduction of new ones would push up the cost of goods and services. “We had a meeting with the merchants and we told that that you don’t pass on everything to people. They make whopping profits. I think we have to appeal to them for a social conscience,” said Clarke who is also General Secretary of the People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR), the major party in the coalition.

Saying that the Council lacks visionary and competent leaders, Political Scientist Kissoon forecast that due to the various forms of taxes that have greeted ordinary Guyanese since the APNU+AFC coalition was voted into office last year May. “I do believe analytically that if a Local Government Election is called in Georgetown tomorrow, the governing coalition would lose badly if you have a very credible alternative,” said Kissoon who campaigned for the coalition in last year’s general elections.

President David Granger has already said that he would like to see municipalities become self-sustaining and run like a business corporation.

  • Emile_Mervin

    Rates and taxes alone cannot sustain City Hall’s operations, and it behooves the City to start looking at other income generating measures.

    However, rates and taxes should be part of its revenue stream. Instead of waiting for folks to pay rates and taxes, these should be built into the payroll deduction of all who are self-employed or employed by others.

    For first time home buyers and other new builders with mortgages, the rates and taxes should be part of the monthly mortgage statement.

    I also recommend parking meters for commercial zones, but these must be reasonable and be run 100% by City Hall.

    • Col123 make too much sense..that is why you PROBABLY have only this forum.

  • Col123

    He is a fecal head…literally …therefore, he can be any thing that he wants..

  • Col123

    The chairman Clarke knows exactly what he is talking about. Why would any loss of PNC support result from increase taxes in the city? It is an imaginary concern.Politics and voting in Guyana is what it is. The partisan voting is predictable. The future now brings a pencil to have the desired result. Ballot boxes are a thing of the past.
    The taxes should be raised to 20 % across the board to be meaningful .Living in the city comes with a cost. There is anticipated percent increase in salary for city residents in public service, so the timing is correct. The merchants are minting money, so let’s milk them…Bottom line is that the city dwellers need to encouraged to move away from the low flat coastland. The Govt should look at ways to encourage this ,now that we have those fully functional local governments all around.

  • Col123

    Yes..I can imagine!… a lot more homes would have been furnished with refrigerators and HD TVs…. gyam fyah mode would have been in place…

  • Col123

    Things slow at the market news?…keep those partisan comments flowing bro… Just remember them brothas from the AFC that gave you all that pride…

  • Col123

    You are being unfair…it is awee time now…them PPP boys were filling their pockets… Now we the PNC and AFC filling up their SUVs …Nagaraman is the main brottha..