Not enough! - Manchester Municipal Corporation says revenue too low to sustain parish
With a proposed budget of $1.7 billion, the Manchester Municipal Corporation says the revenue collected is not able to adequately meet its demands.
Chief financial officer at the Manchester Municipal Corporation, Izualo Campbell explained that citizens fail to understand that the local taxes are just as important as the general taxes.
He added that several business owners and operators are non-compliant in paying for trade licences, among other fees.
"We have to increase the general revenue, which is 11 per cent to 25 per cent ... . We have to write to business owners and have public education campaigns to explain why these things happen," said Campbell.
He added that under the budget, street lights are to be maintained, minor and major water sources are given priority, but a large component is for garbage collection.
Speaking recently at a town hall meeting in the parish, Campbell said approximately $420 million is paid per year to the National Solid Waste Management Authority. Notwithstanding this, poor garbage collection continues to frustrate residents.
AT THE MINISTRY'S MERCY
"We cannot continue to depend on central government. We have to ensure the funds are collected. There is nothing in place if these funds are not collected, we are at the mercy of the ministry ... ," Campbell said.
He used the operation of the market as an example of serious financial constraints of the municipal corporation.
"It costs a lot to run the market because it is not making enough money. Right now, it is a burden to carry the market as a subsidy, because we have illegal vendors that traverse the street and we have to get those individuals in the market," Campbell explained.
He said property tax collection in the parish is low and maintenance work in those areas of non-compliant taxpayers cannot be done.
Mayor of Mandeville Donovan Mitchell said there will be a zero-tolerance approach to non-compliance taxpayers, and illegal vendors.