Fri | Sep 22, 2017

St Elizabeth $1.72 billion in property tax arrears, McKenzie appeals for compliance

Published:Thursday | May 4, 2017 | 5:23 PM
Local Government Minister Desmond McKenzie

Local Government Minister Desmond McKenzie has revealed that St Elizabeth ranks among the most delinquent parishes in property tax payments with $1.72 billion in arrears.

The other two delinquent parishes are Clarendon and Manchester.

Speaking at a town hall meeting in Santa Cruz, St Elizabeth, Thursday evening, McKenzie admitted that the Government needs to improve services like street lighting and market facilities, which are funded by property taxes.

But he said the level of compliance in St Elizabeth remains woeful.

"It is in your interest to step up the progress to pay in a way that the new dispensation of prosperity can provide more streetlights," he said.

He said for this year, the government is projecting the parish to raise $780 million in property taxes, that is up from the $480 million collected last year.

That's why McKenzie says the Government will not turn away any payment at all.

"Every mikkle mek a muckle," he said.

Meanwhile, McKenzie said he will shortly make an announcement about streetlight.

He also said a new garbage truck is to be provided for St Elizabeth in a matter of weeks.

"We recognise the shortcomings, we are doing something about it," McKenzie said.

But, he insisted that people must become more responsible.

"In order for the service to work, then, you, the people, must make the service work," he charged while appealing to residents to properly dispose their garbage.

The Local Government Minister also told the people of St Elizabeth that the parish will be getting special attention for public water supply.

He said the parish is earmarked for four ‘water shops’ and the system will be improved to truck water to communities.