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Trelawny eyes tax collection contest win

Published:Monday | February 2, 2015 | 12:00 AM

Richard Morais, Gleaner Writer

FALMOUTH, Trelawny:With JUST over 70 per cent property tax compliance, Local Government Minister Noel Arscott has revealed that Trelawny could win the 2014-2015 property tax compliance competition and a prize of $5 million.

Arscott made the announcement as he officially handed over a $28-million garbage truck to Western Parks and Markets on Friday in Falmouth. The truck is to be used in Trelawny.

trelawny, portmore in lead

Arscott said while the Portmore municipality is currently in pole position for the title, it could still go to Trelawny if the parish increases its percentage in the time remaining.

He, however, avoided revealing Portmore's current compliance rate or a rate that would safely win the competition.

Portmore won the 2013-2014 competition, pulling in $312,942,016, which represents 101 per cent of the $309,189,701 target for the period under review.

The Kingston and St Andrew Corporation (KSAC) trailed Portmore, collecting 95 per cent of its $1,646,171,100 target. The KSAC pulled in a total of $1,564,918,876 for the year.

On Friday, Falmouth Mayor Garth Wilkinson said the parish had collected $149 million of the targeted $212 million.

He noted that, with some months still to go before the April end of the fiscal year, he was hoping the rate would significantly increase.

Wilkinson also noted that, should his parish win, the $5 million would go towards the fixing of roads.

The revenues from property tax collection are used by the various municipalities to pay for essential services such as street lights, street cleaning and garbage collection.

The garbage truck, which is already in operation, was donated by the Urban Development Corporation, and has had a significant impact with regard to the cleanliness of the parish, including the newest resort town of Falmouth.

The truck could not have arrived at a more opportune time as one of the more common observations about Falmouth is that much needs to be done to ensure the Trelawny capital attains a suitable state of cleanliness.

The local government ministry had in 2013 announced the introduction of the competition for best-performing parish councils.

The top-performing community project was to be awarded $5 million and the second-place winner $3 million. Third place would receive $2 million.

rural@gleanerjm.com