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House considers bills on a wide range of financial issues

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house sitting

Posted: Friday, June 21, 2019. 10:53 am CST.

By Aaron Humes: The House of Representatives meets shortly in Belmopan after a break occasioned by multiple special meetings held in April and May surrounding the ICJ referendum.

The Customs and Excise Duties (Amendment) Bill is to implement lower duties in accordance with the Economic Partnership Agreement while the Tax Administration and Procedure Bill takes up the unification of the Income and General Sales Tax Departments. Both are being read a second time.

An amendment to the University of Belize Act increases the age for compulsory retirement, and a bill is being sponsored to partially remit arrears for land and speculation tax. Minister Hugo Patt states that it is to give effect to a six-month amnesty period, wiping away some $95 million not paid over several years, for all landowners. Interest and a 25% reduction in the principal payment will be waived. The Ministry of Natural Resources collected some $48 million over the last year.

 A motion on the third Inter-American Development Bank Multilateral Investment Fund referred on March 26, authorizes Belize to pay in US $1 million as a contribution.

Other new bills include an amendment to the Court of Appeal Act concerning expedited appeals; authorization of municipal papers and an interest reserve fund for the Opposition-controlled Belize City Council; and an establishment of a liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) project including a terminal and related facilities, in a public-private partnership.

 

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