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Mayor Wagner has a new plan for collecting property taxes

Mayor Bernard Wagner and his team took control of the Belize City Council after they were elected on March 7. As part of the council’s plan in collecting revenues, Wagner says that the property tax collecting scheme will be changed. Here’s how:

Bernard Wagner, Mayor of Belize City: What we have is a property tax system where we find that it is skewed, the people who probably live in the same area it could probably be that the valuators are doing a skewed operation. If you are living on the same street and paying different property tax clearly there are some areas there that need to be adjusted in respect to the valuators, the people who from the council go and value these properties. We want to ensure that everyone in the City pays a fair share of property tax, no one is overtaxed, no one is undertaxed. Equity and ensuring that taxes or the people who does the valuation is not doing it in a subjective manner, that if my house and your house have the same features and size why am I paying more and you are paying less and it comes right back to the valuators- this is what we found within the audit and within discussions with some of the managers at City Hall.”

Reporter: For such a thing you don’t think there needs to be consultation? Will it be a unilateral implementation?

Bernard Wagner, Mayor of Belize City:I wouldn’t want to go too further in that. We know that the audit revealed properties with similar characteristics have similar valuations and we will address it. Probably the people that are paying more right now might get relief and probably the ones that are paying less might get an additional again I don’t want to get too in detail with it. I’m just saying that the audit revealed, and bear this in mind, that the audit revealed that in some areas of the City properties with similar characteristics have dissimilar valuations.”