by Zena Henry
Tax defaulters can make use of a one month amnesty period to get as much as 75 percent interest off tax payments on businesses and as much as 100 percent off on interest owing for residential properties.
This is according to Town Clerk Royston King who told Demerara Waves that, “the amnesty would see the smooth clearing of existing debt and provide a fresh start for tax payers.”
City Hall’s main revenue earner is the collection of property tax. They claim that previously, they were prevented from functioning and carrying out its mandate. The municipality complained bitterly about being strapped for cash and the micro-management of its affairs by Central governemnt.
The body informed citizens Friday August 14 that for the month of September they will be able to apply to the Council and seek a write off on interest owing on taxes. A public notice informed property owners that amnesty on property taxes owed would be granted from September 1 to the 30.
It was stated that, “Companies and businesses must apply to the Council for interest pardons between 50 and 75 percent on taxes. Residential properties could receive up to 100 percent amnesty on interest.”
This initiative, Demerara Waves was told could see the Council lose millions of dollars. While a total sum of funds lost could be made available after the drive, the Council said that it considered the socio -economic issues concerning city residents which prevented them from honouring their civic obligation. They took into account that, “many of the property owners are pensioners and retired public servants.”
The Council said this facility should encourage citizens to honour their civic obligation and allow the municipality to garner much needed revenue.
Property owners seeking to take advantage of the amnesty period must visit the Council’s City Treasurer’s Department for guidance on this matter.