Lucea Mayor rolls up his sleeves for a property tax fight
Sherridan Samuels, the 55-year-old councillor for the Cauldwell Division, was yesterday sworn in as the new mayor of Lucea and chairman of the Hanover Municipal Corporation and pledged to take back every dollar of property tax that he said central government has taken from Hanover.
He said he would be moving with haste, by way of a resolution, to "shake the foundations of the property tax distribution system that has kept Hanover in the back". Hanover, he said, had one of the highest compliance rates of about 95 per cent paid up to date, yet the parish got very little in return.
"Central government takes it away and doles it out in incremental portions to their favourites," said Samuels. "By way of a resolution, we will have the Government return every dollar of the property taxes collected from the people of Hanover."
Samuels took up his new post at approximately 12:42 p.m. after being nominated and seconded for the position unopposed. Samuels' People's National Party (PNP) colleague, Councillor Andrea Dehaney-Dinham, of the Sandy Bay Division, was elected as the deputy mayor.
Samuels' elevation to the top post in the Hanover Municipal Corporation was part of the grand ceremony in which the other successful candidates from the recent local government elections were sworn in as councillors.
The ceremony, which took place at the corporation's Church Street, Lucea, offices, unfolded under the guidance of Basil McFarlane, the principal returning officer for Hanover.
It was a festive occasion as supporters of the Jamaica Labour Party and the PNP jostled for the few seats that were available on the inside. Some of the supporters had to settle for standing room outside, where they listened to the ceremony on a public address system.