Local authority tax compliance should be mandatory for business transactions – City Mayor

City Mayor Ubraj Narine.

Jan 10, 2021  – Kaieteur News – City Mayor, Ubraj Narine, has proposed making local authority tax compliance for business transactions as part of efforts to curtail the issue with businesses defaulting on payment of rates and taxes.

During a press briefing at City Hall on Friday, Narine explained that the proposal is to help give the various Councils some sort of authority and leverage to collect their dues. He noted that the problem with rates and tax collection is a universal one in the various local authority districts. The issue has resulted in the municipality losing billions in revenue.   

He suggested that if the Councils were given the same respect as the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) and National Insurance Scheme (NIS) when it comes to compliance, then they would never have to worry about being owed rates and taxes.

The same way you need compliance from NIS and GRA you should need compliance from your local authorities, where you’re living to show that you’re paying taxes to your NDC, to your municipality and if you’re not up-to-date with these taxes, you cannot do business with Government,” Narine added.The Mayor therefore appealed to the Government to bring laws and regulations into effect, which facilitates the compliance.

He noted that there are many companies out there not honouring the Local Authorities taxes and the Local Authorities have a role to play in Government. As such, the Mayor believes that the Government should carry some of the blame for allowing business to get contracts without paying their taxes.

“Why aren’t we questioning these things? You’re going and do business with Government, a multi-million-dollar contract awarded to you and you don’t have a Local Authority’s Compliance where the office of your company resides?” the Mayor pointed out.

According to Narine, the responsibility lies with the Minister of Finance, Dr. Ashni Singh, and Governor of the Bank of Guyana, Dr. Gobind Ganga, to make business compliance from all local authorities compulsory. The Mayor stressed that without these measures in place, many businesses will continue to disregard the tax payments.

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