City’s property reassessment to be completed by year-end -Town Clerk Royston King
DPI, GUYANA, Wednesday, October 4, 2017
The Mayor and City Council (M&CC) is moving towards reassessing the value of properties in and around Georgetown. Town Clerk Royston King said this is one of the many measures the council is undertaking to address its financial struggles.
This was disclosed during a press conference which was held yesterday at City Hall, Regent Street. King explained that it has been over 20 years since properties in the city have been evaluated and described the situation as “unimaginable.”
He pointed out that the M&CC along with the Ministry of Communities is currently working on an evaluation plan. More importantly, Minister of Communities Ronald Bulkan is in talks with a Canadian Firm to undertake the project.
King noted, “he (Minister Bulkan) is talking to them about doing a reassessment of properties of the city of Georgetown and reforming the local tax regime. That is an initiative that is coming on board, we are now doing a pilot where we are providing information from certain areas to the Minister and we are hoping that the reassessment of all properties in the city will happen by the end of the year.”
King further added that the council can no longer provide certain services “with the same money that we have been collecting 20 years ago.”
According to the Town Clerk, non-payment of rates and taxes is another reason why the Council finds itself cash-strapped. He referred to the examples of the Milk Plant and Fisherman’s Co-op Society, both of which owe the council over $400M and $900M respectively. These cases are currently in the courts along with other defaulters, he said.
King bluntly stated that “the reason why the council is bankrupt is because the money is in the bank accounts of persons who are defaulting on paying their rates and we are trying to get people to pay their rates so that we can get the money to provide the kind of services that citizens expect.”
Additionally, the Council is looking to erect a number structures on Merriman’s Mall that will be rented to hairdressers, nail technicians, and barbers. The revenue garnered from the rental will be utilised by the Council to carry out its works.
By: Isaiah Braithwaite