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Prime Minister unsure if he supports Belize City Council’s new taxes

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Posted: Thursday, January 20, 2022. 5:03 pm CST.

By Benjamin Flowers: The Belize City Council has already implemented a 1 percent increase in property taxes and is preparing to implement a new garbage tax, much to the ire of Belize City residents and some city councilors. Prime Minister John Briceño commented on the taxes this week, saying that he is unsure if Central Government would support the measures at this time.

Briceño, speaking to Channel 7, said that he has heard of the tax issues, but that matter has not officially reached his desk, so he cannot comment in-depth, but stressed that the Belize City Council is the duly elected municipal body.

“Obviously, it is something that we would have to take a very hard look at before we decide whether we would support a garbage tax. Again, we need to add that they were elected, so we can’t say do it or don’t do it. That’s something that the council would have to decide whether we would support it, that’s another matter,” Briceño said.

With regard to the property tax increase, Mayor Bernard Wagner has emphasized that the city needs funds to do its work and that the increase of property taxes is an exercise that should have been done years ago, even before his administration took office.

Following the announcement of the incoming garbage tax, several City Councilors have reportedly clashed with the Mayor for not supporting it. Wagner has since addressed those reports by saying that the reshuffle is to “better meet its strategic objectives and its manifesto promises.”

 

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