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Mayor Darrell Bradley on the Right Track Print E-mail
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Written by Administrator   
Thursday, 29 August 2013 00:00

Mayor Darrell BradleyThe Mayor of Belize City, Darrell Bradley, has come under fire for implementing a policy of not renewing driver’s license for those persons who are delinquent in their payment of property taxes. The policy requires persons who owe back taxes to enter into a written agreement with the council committing to pay off those taxes within a reasonable period of time and taxpayers have to make a payment of at least one-third of what is owed before their license is released.   


Well, Mayor Bradley is on the right track. Tax-news.com recently reported that the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance (which is one of the largest state tax administrations) has introduced a program in which a driver’s license in New York State can be suspended when a taxpayer’s past tax liability exceeds US $10,000.00 (which in some cases in only one year). The article reported that under the new policy, it is estimated that tax collection will increase by US $26 million and as much as US $6 million annually thereafter. The article quoted representatives of the tax department as saying: “Our message is simple: tax scofflaws who don’t abide by the same rules as everyone else are not entitled to the same privileges as everyone else”.  The state has also set up a system if persons cannot pay off in full to arrange payment over time. 

This is exactly what the Mayor of Belize City is doing. The Council’s policy merely requires persons to make a payment plan, formally by entering into the agreement and then paying at least the one-third.  Mayor Bradley said that the city has a significant tax arrear problem and this policy is one of several, including increased prosecutions through the municipal court, to encourage person’s to comply with their tax obligations. The Mayor said further that the city council is doing everything it can to ensure that people get value for their tax dollars and he pointed out that eighty-six streets have been concreted in a little under one and a half years and major improvements have been done to street maintenance generally and improvements in other areas such as the construction of BTL Park and Battlefield Park. These works are only possible if people pay their fair taxes.  The Mayor also said that the city council has made the tax appeal’s process easier and quicker and he had dealt with a significant amount of questions and complaints regarding taxes and he has come to settlements with many taxpayers and those that cannot be settled at least receive an explanation as to how their taxes are calculated. The Mayor said finally that his council has also ensured transparency in the tax system by implementing standardization in the calculations and by putting up the tax rolls on the city council’s website at www.belizecitycouncil.org so everyone can see how much everyone else, including their Mayor, pays in property and trade license fees.  

The full article from Tax.news.com is at http://www.tax-news.com/news/New_Yorks_Delinquent_Taxpayers_To_Lose_Driving_Licenses____61837.html