By Tracey Khan – Drakes
[www.inewsguyana.com] – In a surprising turn of events, the City’s acting Town Clerk, Carol Sooba is now claiming that the owner of the building that houses the Universal Church of God on Charlotte & Wellington Streets, Georgetown paid the Council over $29 M in rates & taxes, before the current $37M wavier was granted.
Sooba even presented proof in the form of receipts that the owner of the Building, Ganga Prashad & Co Ltd paid off its arrears and penalty fees.
Further, she explained that it is the Church that is receiving the $37 tax wavier and not the owner of the property. According to Sooba, the $37 M that was exempted is only based on the number of years that the Church occupied the building.
“They lying to the public and they mislead all of the reporters…because Ganga Prashad- that’s Strand Cinema – I took them twice to Court and recently I took them to Court because I blocked the transport from being passed, however, what happened I think they came in and they paid about $29M, all that they owed,” the acting Town Clerk said.
In her defense, Sooba explained that the church sought the exemption directly from the Minister of Local Government, Norman Whittaker.
“They went to the Local Government Minister and then a letter was sent in the form of a Ministerial order…and they had already taken a decision they were not going to exempt anything so in that case now it went to the minister, they had to go to the Minister because the Council had the authority to exempt the church but they don’t want to exempt anything.”
Even though the Church does not own the building, Sooba claims that tax waivers cater for owner/occupier of a property.
Only yesterday a faction of the council passed a motion against Sooba and City Treasurer, Ronald McCalman, sending them on administrative leave, a move that did not sit well with Sooba, who today vowed to fight with her “last breath” to ensure she is not bullied out of her post.