Region Two NDCs beg for property revaluation
…say too much money lost because of archaic laws
Regional officials, along with councillors, within the county of Essequibo, are asking for the intervention of the Ministry of Local Government, to review the valuation laws and aid in streamlining pertinent proposals to immediately address the sore issue of Valuation of properties and businesses.
They want the focus to be on locations where there are numerous defaulters on the Essequibo Coast.
Chairman of the Paradise/Evergreen Neighbourhood Democratic Council and Regional Democratic Councillor, Cornel Damon, noted that at present all the Neighbourhood Democratic Councils in Region Two need to conduct new valuation on all properties and business premises, in order to resurrect the commitment in the collection of rates and taxes.
At the recent statutory meeting, the issue of the high level of defaulters of rates and taxes was again highlighted. Weighing in on the issue, Damon informed councillors that the NDC along the Essequibo Coast are in an overdraft, due the minimal revenues collected from a small section of persons in the Region.
Damon, who is strongly suggesting a thorough review of the valuation laws, noted that the NDCs are suffering even as there is evidence of new buildings being constructed almost every day and rates and taxes remains the same.
Damon said that some new buildings and factories are not taxed because of the outdated laws.
The councillor said that a number of new buildings are under construction throughout the coast, and if the present system is not reviewed then businesses will be ripping off the NDCs.
He added that the system is reviewed then the NDCs as well as the Anna Regina Town Council would be able to collect more revenue which will be used to improve drainage, roads and social services.
Region Two Chairman Alli Baksh, who acknowledged his agreement with the councillor made a vocal call on NDCs and on the town council to collect arrears rates and taxes, which he said have accumulated over the years and now amount to millions of dollars.
The chairman said valuation for new buildings and factories should be reviewed. Baksh added that NDCs and the Anna Regina Town Council should not be dependent on Government yearly subventions to do projects in their respective areas but must focus on setting up economic ventures to generate funds to better social services for citizen also. The chairman said that many “big” famers in the Region owes millions of dollars in rates and taxes to government and are not paying up. Baksh called on the NDCs and Town Council to take legal actions against the defaulters to recover the money.
Alliance for Change (AFC) councillor, Archie Cordis, stated that on numerous occasions calls were made to review the valuation laws, where they would eventually see operative evaluation on business and houses.
During the statutory meeting, Cordis questioned the low collection of rates and taxes in a report presented by Chairman of the Local Government sub committee of the RDC Pooran Persaud.
This newspaper understands in the Evergreen\Paradise area, there are over 25 estate owners and the average annual rate, amounts to $2000 dollars.
According to a former NDC employee, unless there is a firm plan, which would augur proposals pertaining to a revamp of the present laws there would always be defaulters.