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Opposition to demand audit of use of property taxes collected since 2012

Published:Wednesday | April 29, 2015 | 12:42 PM
Noel Arscott

The Opposition has indicated it will be demanding an audit of the use of property taxes collected since 2012 under the Local Government Ministry.

Spokesperson on Local Government, Desmond McKenzie says he will make the call for the property tax audit when he speaks next week in the Sectoral Debate.

He says the audit is necessary since Local Government Minister Noel Arscott has blamed low property tax compliance for the billions owed to the Jamaica Public Service for street lights.

Property tax collections are used, among other things, to fund services offered at the parish council level.

However, McKenzie says news of outstanding light bills have cast doubt on the credibility of Arscott, who last week stated that a $7 billion property tax collection target had been surpassed.

 

Opposition Spokesperson on Local Government, Desmond McKenzie.

He has dismissed the argument by Arscott that the ministry is being billed for streetlights which are not working.

McKenzie says that argument is questionable given the absence of a report on a streetlight audit Arscott announced in 2012.

 

Opposition Spokesperson on Local Government, Desmond McKenzie

Up to March, several parish councils across the island owed the JPS almost $3 billion for street lights and other general electricity costs.