With social media being accessible to both young and old, many times our news centre gets information from its users. One recent tip that we felt compelled to look into was a report of the Belmopan City Council threatening to take away people’s property as a consequence of owing taxes to the council. Love News contacted Belmopan Mayor, Khalid Belisle to get some clarity on this report.
“I have been made aware of these comments that have been made on Facebook, Renee, and I can tell you that in terms of what they laid out stating that the City Council is now repossessing properties due to arrears on taxes that is certainly not the case. We do have some three point one million dollars outstanding in property fees only in the City of Belmopan. We are now aggressively pursuing the collection of those arrears as current year taxes but we are not at the point where we are looking to repossess properties in the cases where fees to the City Council are due. There is a situation now that has been brought to our attention since we’ve inherited City Hall whereby we’ve had maybe a dozen and a half cases where the City Council had higher purchase agreements for properties with several individuals where those agreements have gone into default; the terms of the agreement haven’t been honored, haven’t been lived up to, significant monies are owing to the council on those properties and in those instances we are now taking the steps necessary to recover our monies or to recover the properties that these people that have been in possession of and that remains the property of the Belmopan City Council and the City of Belmopan.”
According to Mayor Belisle, the council’s finance records show that the council is owed over three million dollars in property taxes.