Pay rates, get better services

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-Region Four Chairperson

DPI, Guyana, Monday, June 11, 2018

With only 60% of rates being collected, Chairperson of Regional Democratic Council, Region Four Genevieve Allen is urging residents to pay up and they will see the improvements in their neighborhoods.

Region Four Chairperson, Genevieve Allen.

“If you do a review of what happened last year their rate collection might have been 50% or 60% of their rates collectible but there are large numbers of Neighborhood Democratic Councils (NDCs) that have outstanding balances on rates, and this would have been accumulated over a number of years,” Allen told the Department of Public Information (DPI) recently.

She added, “NDC’s are expected to provide the services of solid waste collection, environmental management and market facilities. They are required to maintain the burial grounds and cemeteries, recreational facilities and I speak specifically to recreational grounds that are in their NDCs, and the drainage and irrigation waterways. It is not central government that takes care of the local services directly. Those services are provided by the local organ, which is that of the NDC.”

Further, Allen noted the rates being paid by many communities are unrealistically low and leave the NDCs hamstrung to provide adequate services. She referenced Unity-Vereeniging on the East Coast as an example:  “There is one particular NDC where the rates are very, very low because in that NDC the residents only pay the rate for lands. They do not pay for buildings. So, if you take a walk through that particular NDC and you see all of the high-rise businesses, all of the huge structures; the residents don’t pay rates for their buildings and yet that NDC is expected to still provide all of the necessary services that are required of them.”

During his presentation of Budget 2018, Minister of Finance Winston Jordan said there would be property valuation exercises countrywide.

By: Kidackie Amsterdam.