Sun | Feb 16, 2020

St Ann business sector welcomes tax office relocation, but ...

Published:Friday | January 24, 2020 | 12:21 AMCarl Gilchrist/Gleaner Writer
St Ann’s Bay Tax Office.
St Ann’s Bay Tax Office.

The business community in St Ann has welcomed the announcement that the Brown’s Town Tax Office is to be relocated, but has expressed concerns about the new relocation.

There is also a call for the St Ann’s Bay tax office to also be relocated, as it faces similar problems to those existing at the Brown’s Town location.

Cabinet recently approved the purchase of three lots in Huntley, Brown’s Town, St Ann, at a cost of $19.5 million for the purpose of relocating the tax office, citing the inadequacy of the current location in accommodating staff and serving the community.

That location, on Main Street, is said to be too small to accommodate business from a growing population. It is said to lack seating because of the limited space, and the line of customers is usually at the door. Also, parking space is virtually non-existent.

“In one aspect, I am glad that they are going to move, because they need a bigger place,” said prominent Brown’s Town businessman Anthony Charley.

CHALLENGING MOVE

However, he believes the new location comes with its share of problems.

“The problem is, around where they are now going to go, it’s going to be hell and high water to get there,” he pointed out. According to the businessman, the access road to the new premises is usually congested by taxi and bus operators, who should be using the nearby bus park but who are usually on the outside. A long detour is an alternate route.

“It’s going to be a challenge,” he suggested.

Meanwhile, President of the St Ann Chamber of Commerce, Vana Taylor, has also welcomed the news of the relocation.

“I am very happy, and members (of the Chamber) are very happy that they’re relocating it but we hope it will be relocated to where there is adequate space for parking and where there can be further growth,” Taylor pointed out.

At the same time, Taylor is calling for the relocation of the St Ann’s Bay tax Office also.

“St Ann’s Bay definitely needs to be relocated. Most times, St Ann’s Bay is jam-packed and it does not have adequate parking; you have to park in other people’s places or you have to drive around and around and finally, you might find a place to park.”

Taylor is suggesting that the government make use of the Seville property to build a new collectorate for St Ann’s Bay.

“I would suggest St Ann’s Bay (tax office) be relocated to the Seville property. As you know, Seville property is just there not being utilised properly, and squatters have taken over a lot of the property,” Taylor pointed out.

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