The Mayor and City Council in a desperate bid to rake in revenues so that it can continue to function, has announced that it will be offering an “amnesty on interest ascend on property rates to all property-owners in the City of Georgetown.” Meaning that the Council will waive the interest accumulated on property rates that were not paid to the Council over the years, provided that defaulters clear their debt.
According to the cash strapped Council, this facility would be available for a very limited period from November 15-30, 2016. The Council citing a report from the City Treasurer noted that it is owed about $22 billion, in outstanding property rates, by property owners, in the City.
In seeking to recover a substantial portion of that amount, the Council in a statement explained that the amnesty provides a window of opportunity for all defaulters to settle their outstanding accounts with the Council. “Simultaneously, it allows the Municipality to recover large amounts owed to the council, for many years. These sums are urgently needed to sustain current works in the City including drainage, road repairs, cleaning and greening of parks, gardens and open spaces, garbage collection and disposal and enforcement of compliance to our by-laws and building codes, and public health and environmental services, in all local communities” said the Council.
In June of this year, Mayor of Georgetown, Patricia-Chase- Green had acknowledged the financial state of the Council, after information came to the fore that city workers, including garbage collectors and contractors were not being paid for their services.
Green in addressing the situation had said in the media that “there has not been a time that the Council has not had a loss. The city has always been broke. The Council does not collect enough rates and taxes to meet all the demands financially to run this city and so being short of cash is no new news. We’ve always been. It would take like $3 billion a year to run the city of Georgetown if you want to develop it into a modern city. And when taxpayers don’t pay their monies on time, we will have shortages in payment, but the city has always been short of money.”
The Council says that it is now urging all property-owners, particularly those, who have been defaulting on payment of their rates, “to make optimum use of this limited facility and liquidate their debts, at the City treasury.”