#Jamaica, October 17, 2017 – Kingston – Local Government and Community Development Minister, Hon. Desmond McKenzie, is urging municipal corporations to maximize the revenue-generating potential from the requisite payment of fees by businesses and residents for services the councils administer, in keeping with the beneficiaries’ statutory obligations.
Among the categories of revenues, which he said are at the corporations’ disposal, are property taxes, trade licences and building permit fees.
Mr. McKenzie said maximising the out-turns of these was imperative in order to supplement the Government’s budgetary provisions allocated to each corporation through the Ministry.
“I know that councillors continue to lament the fact that they are not getting as much as they want. But you have to help yourselves in this regard, (as) the Ministry will not always be able to provide you with all of the resources that you need,” he stated.
The Minister was addressing the St. Mary Municipal Corporation’s monthly meeting in Port Maria on October 12. While noting that municipal corporations are not faring badly in revenue inflows, Mr. McKenzie said they are “not doing as well as they ought”, based on the level of arrears for statutory obligations.
He argued that if councils can collect as much as 40 per cent of outstanding sums, “then the Ministry wouldn’t have to be struggling to find money to support the work of the local authorities”.
“These are revenues that the councils need to step up their approach on in collecting, and I am urging councilors to go on an extensive drive to collect those outstanding revenues,” Mr. McKenzie emphasized.