Corozal Mayor Highlights Financial Management Strategy for Council’s Success
Looking at the successes his council has enjoyed since they came to office in 2018, Mayor Vellos said that the hallmark of his strategy to transform Corozal is sound financial management. Vellos explained that strategic spending, investments, and accountability, has been at the core of moving the council from a position where it had none of its own equipment to work with to now being able to plan and execute projects, largely without the aid of central government.
Rigoberto Vellos, Mayor, Corozal Town: “In 2018 for my first term when we got here we received, we were handed over at town council that literally meant nothing, had nothing to stand for. We literally had two machetes and two rakes to start to work with, you know, at the Corozal Town which was a very unfortunate situation, a very sad one. But we were a team and we are a team that believes in hard work and we made a commitment to our people that we need to move Corozal forward and that’s exactly what we did. We started by making sure that we have a proper financial management. We made sure that we got an administrator that will ensure that finance are being spent wisely and strategically where we need to. And with that said, we started with our capacity building where we managed to get our own grader, our own roller. We got two garbage trucks. We have a backhoe. We have our own water truck. These are things that were not here in 2018. Where we are right now, I can tell you, is we’re at a place where the town council has been working independently. When I mean independently is that we no longer have to depend a lot on central government to do things. We no longer have to depend a lot on the Ministry of Infrastructure to come in and help us with machinery. Right now we plan and we try to execute. If we need to pave a street, we look at it, we see the value and we execute. That’s where we are right now financially.”
With regard to collecting taxes, Vellos added that the council still has more work to do but that there is a vast difference between what was and what is currently happening. He took the opportunity to remind Corozal residents that the council’s special discount offer on property tax payments is only running for one more day.
Rigoberto Vellos, Mayor, Corozal Town: “It’s always difficult to collect all the taxes. Property tax is a major one, right? And we understand that because of the pandemic our economy is just simply trying to recover. Business might not be the way it used to be and we respect that, but I can tell you that at the same time we have been trying our very best rigorously, going out there trying to inform the people that on the best interest of the town is to pay your taxes so that we can go right back and invest it right back into the community, right? We are not at 100% in collection but we have improved drastically percentage-wise on the amount of property tax that used to be collected seven, eight years ago. This is a town council that depends a lot on its revenue to do work and if anybody comes to Corozal they can see that work is happening. And speaking of property tax I want to take advantage to invite Corozalenos to come and pay their property tax. Tomorrow is the last day to get 30% discount. 30% discount is literally a huge amount that you will automatically chopped off out of the total and it’s not only on arrears it’s even for present now. So you can come and pay your property tax, take advantage of a 30% discount that we have. Tomorrow is the last day to be able to get this discount.”
We’ll be hearing how other municipalities are preparing for municipal elections in subsequent newscasts.