Latest rates amnesty nets $127M

-City Hall forgoes $355M in interest

Through its latest amnesty, Georgetown has been able to garner $127 million from the payment of rates, while forgoing a total of $335 million in interest.

This information was revealed a press conference on Friday by acting City Treasurer John Douglas.

Douglas took the time to thank those ratepayers who had taken advantage of the offered six-week complete amnesty on interest owed.

The 2017 amnesty started on November 15th and ended on December 31st. It was the third year that City Hall had offered similar provisions, with the highest sum being garnered in 2015, when $561 million in revenue was garnered from September to November.

Under that amnesty, residential property owners were offered a 100% waiver on the interest on the rates they owed to the council, while commercial and corporate property owners were offered amnesties ranging from 50% to 75% amnesty dependent on special circumstances.

The 2016 amnesty was announced as part of a quest to secure “urgently needed” funds.

That amnesty lasted from November 15th to November 30th, 2016, with the expressed intention of recovering a substantial portion of $22 billion dollars in property rates then owed to the city so as to pay the city’s creditors, including its waste disposal contractors.

The earnings from this amnesty were not publicised but the waste disposal contractors were not paid and instead they withdrew their services in August, 2017. The city’s inability to pay this debt resulted in an intervention from central government through the Ministry of Communities, which saw a special arrangement operating until December 31, 2017. At the end of this arrangement, the contractors once again withdrew their services and did not resume work until January 5th, 2017, after the city promised to fulfil its financial obligations in a timely manner.

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