Errant business owners paying owed taxes – M&CC’s PRO

Following an announcement by the Mayor of Georgetown that over 140 businesses in Georgetown owed taxes to City Hall, several of these errant business persons have since settled their accounts with the Mayor and City Council.
This is according to the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the Mayor and City Council (M&CC), Debra Lewis. She told Guyana Times on Saturday that the Council has embarked on a campaign and has been engaging the Private Sector on the issue.
Several business owners have also enquired about the possibly of setting up payment plans to reduce the taxes owed to the Council.
“As it relates to rates even as the information is out there, persons are coming in and if it’s not to pay the rates they are seeking information as to how they can liquidate their accounts in this regard,” she explained.
Lewis noted that the M&CC looks forward to a growing partnership with the Private Sector.
She nevertheless reminded that some $8 billion is collectively owed by those business owners.
Earlier this month, Georgetown Mayor Ubraj Narine called a press conference where he disclosed that just about 144 business proprietors have failed to pay taxes which attributes to the build-up of garbage in Georgetown.
“There is only one tractor we have at this moment to remove all those skip bins and that tractor is currently down; however, we can do better but only if we get the resources from the taxpayers then we would be able to have two more tractors. There is a list with 144 business entities that due us tax and if these taxes can be paid up to the City Council, we will get the additional tractors so that we will be able to do a better job… they owe us billions, these high-end businesses,” he said.
President of the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI), Nicholas Boyer, in response said he is cognisant of the fact that some businesses in the city may run away from paying their taxes; however, he believes that direct appeals should be made to those establishments, rather than label every organisation with the same title.
“Before you got to that stage of just calling out high-end businesses and so those comments may start to create a more contentious atmosphere… we understand why he is doing it because he may feel like these businesses have not been paying taxes over such and such a period so maybe he feels frustration,” Boyer explained.
He added that the Chamber could have played the part of a mediator between those errant businesses and City Hall and seized the opportunity to encourage businesses to pay up their dues to M&CC.