Local gov’t minister facing scrutiny over order to waive taxes on city building

Local Government Minister Norman Whittaker last month ordered a waiver on rates and taxes amounting to $22 million on a city property, prompting accusations that he broke the law.

By way of a letter, dated July 16th, 2014, Whittaker instructed acting Town Clerk Carol Sooba that he was ordering that the rates due on the property that currently houses the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God, at Charlotte and Wellington streets, be waived by the City Council for the years 2002 to 2009. A copy of the letter seen by Stabroek News includes a handwritten note by Sooba, dated July 18, 2014, advising the City Treasurer of the “ministerial order” and to make the required adjustment.

However, both the authority by which the minister purportedly granted the order and the grounds for giving the waiver are under scrutiny. Several officials at …..To continue reading, login or subscribe now.

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