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Warden: Kingstown property owners owe over $800,000

Warden: Kingstown property owners owe over $800,000

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Persons owning property in Kingstown and its environs owe the Kingstown Board approximately $800,000 in taxes.{{more}}

Warden of the Kingstown Board Carl Williams said this is one of the reasons why staff of the Kingstown Board have not received their salaries since April.

In an interview with Searchlight on Tuesday, June 7, 2011, Williams stated that the Board’s inability to pay was as a direct result of unpaid fees to the Kingstown Board.

“It is a direct result of not being able to collect shop arrears, and not only that. One of our major revenue earners also is property taxes, and we have quite a lot of property taxes outstanding also. So it’s a combination of non payment to the Kingstown Board why we are having that problem,” Williams explained.

He added that there are about 175 persons employed with the Kingstown Board, the majority of which are paid daily, while others are paid monthly. The last payment received by those paid daily was on May 20, while monthly paid workers last received salaries in April. Williams stated that the major revenue earning areas for the Kingstown Board are through Shop Rentals, Property Taxes, as well as Stall dues from vendors in the Kingstown Central Market. He added that the Board also receives a subvention from Government.

Operators of shops in several areas of Kingstown, including those at Little Tokyo, the Kingstown Central Market and the George McIntosh market and the Temporary Market owe over $468,000, as at April 2011, Williams said.

He explained that some of the outstanding property taxes have not been paid since the 90’s up to the present time. The property taxes charged by the Town Board depend on the value of the property, while shop rentals fees vary according to the location of the shops in Kingstown. However, each shop in a particular location is charged a fixed rate.

Persons owning property in Kingstown proper and its environs are required by law to pay taxes to the Kingstown Board. The environs of Kingstown include areas such as New and Old Montrose, Cane Garden, Sion Hill, Richmond Hill, Kingstown Park, Redemption Sharpes and Edinboro.

During a meeting with vendors held on Thursday, June 2, 2011, Minister of Transport Works, Urban Development and Local Government Julian Francis first disclosed that the staff of the Kingstown Board have not yet been paid, and went on to quote figures in the hundreds of thousands of dollars owed in Shop Rentals by shops in several areas of Kingstown.

Williams stated that the Kingstown Board hopes to have the issue resolved soon. He added that notices have been sent to the shops in Kingstown urging them to pay their outstanding fees. “They have been notified of their arrears and we have asked them to come in and make arrangements with the Kingstown Board,” he said.

Persons who owe for property taxes have also been notified, Williams said, adding that a bailiff usually visits the property owners.

“If they don’t honour their commitment, the matter may be taken further… but we have the Attorney General to advise us on the matter,” Williams said. He also stated that the tax period runs from July 1 to October 31, and urged persons to pay their property taxes within this period.

Williams added that the government subvention, which the Board will soon receive, will assist with the problem of wages and salaries.

“We hope to resolve the problem. We are working on it. We are supposed to get a subvention from Central Government very soon, so we are working on that,” Williams explained. He further urged persons to come into the Kingstown Board Office as soon as possible to settle their payments or make agreements to reduce the amount owed.

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