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Belize City Mayor says a property tax increase is necessary

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Posted: Thursday, January 13, 2022. 7:05 pm CST.

By Benjamin Flowers: The Belize City Council, while offering discounts on property taxes, has also implemented a 1 percent increase to those taxes, an increase that Mayor Bernard Wagner says was a long time coming.

Wagner said this week that property tax increases, by law, should be done every few years, with the last scheduled increase due back in 2017, but was never implemented by the administration of the day. Wagner said that when his council came to be in 2018, they still did not implement the hike, but it is unavoidable this year given the council’s current financial position.

“The city owes us twenty-one million dollars. How can you balance the demands of the city and not be able to collect the money that is owed to you? Twenty-one million dollars and each and every one of you sees the state of the streets, but you expect us to fix the streets. So we can’t fix it if we don’t get in our revenues. It is a simple, simple ABC,” Wagner said.

He noted that the council is currently offering an incentive for those paying their property taxes, with a 15 percent discount in the month of January, a 10 percent discount in February, and 5 percent in the month of March.

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