Wednesday, April 1st 2015. Aaron Humes Reporting. Residents of the Old Capital now have additional means of meeting obligations to the Belize City Council for trade licenses collected every December and property taxes collected by the start of the new financial year in April. Previously, residents had to either wait in line at City Hall on North Front Street or dodge the tax man, but the Council has opened a new online payment option through Atlantic Bank.
Residents can now pay by credit card or via cash at the three Atlantic Bank branches in Belize City. According to Director of Finance for the Council Marilyn Ordonez, this option was created as a means of responding to residents living outside of Belize who wanted to easily meet their obligations. She indicated that the Council wanted to move to a “dynamic” means of connecting with residents who have been asking for this type of service.
Property taxes are the largest source of revenue for the Council, reported at approximately $9 million in the last financial year audited. The Council already has optional renewal of drivers’ licenses online but according to Mayor of Belize City Darrell Bradley, both residents and the Council benefit from incremental advancement in making more services by the Council available online. But he says that they are still exploring which services to add on depending internal know-how and so movement will be slow but sure.
For online payments you need your credit card and the tax number and customer number available on your bill. Discounts for early payment in full still apply. Atlantic Bank’s Director of Banking Payments, Pedro Lozano, said that security occasioned by this method of payment, which limits access to information for would-be identity thieves. The information asked for is only known to the payer and is protected by high-strength encryption.