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Countrywide ‘rates and taxes’ may increase next year

Last Updated on Monday, 27 November 2017, 16:51 by Denis Chabrol

Finance Minister, Winston Jordan on Monday signaled that rates and taxes in towns and villages countrywide will possibly increase next year so that councils can get sufficient cash to deliver quality services.

He made the announcement in his 2018 National Budget speech, saying that the holding of Local Government Elections periodically was not sufficient.

He noted that “outdated land values must be addressed” and in 2018, government would spearhead countrywide valuation to bring all property values up to date.

GY$2.9 billion have been allocated to the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) to help prepare for the next local polls due in December, 2018.

For several decades, town and and neighbourhood democratic councils have been crying out for more funds to provide basic services such as road repair and construction, drainage and garbage collection, and the payment of wages and salaries.

The Georgetown City Council was recently granted a GY$300 million bail out by central government to pay the city’s two major garbage collection companies, Cevons and Puran Brothers. City Hall is still struggling to pay salaries on time, back-pay and remit deductions of income tax and social security to the Guyana Revenue Authority and the National Insurance Scheme.