Protest Over Taxes In Paynesville

Scores of individuals under the banner of the Paynesville Business Association Incorporated (PABA) are accusing the City Corporation of arbitrarily hiking taxes in the municipality.

The Association sieged the main entrance to the Capitol Building yesterday holding placards. They said that they went with a petition addressed to Senator George Weah for his intervention but also threatened to shut down their businesses if the fees are not reduced at a flat rate standard.

The petitioners claiming to be representatives of the business association located in Redlight specifically the Bob Taylor Community complained how the management of Paynesville City Corporation (PCC) has ignored the fact that there is already a gross economic hardship in the country and that the Corporation is not the only government agency that they pay taxes to.

The group said they are paying huge garbage fees yet the PCC has empowered what is termed Community Bases Enterprises (CBE) to collect between LD 100 to LD 200 from them weekly as fees for the collection of dirt from the market.

“The PCC is in the constant habit of unnecessarily fining businesses without regards to its city ordinances and even goes as far as closing down those business entities without due process,” the Association led by Sheikh Diallo petition read.

The group’s petition also justified their quest for not wanting to pay what they consider huge taxes as the “majority of these businesses are retailers, who sell in Liberian dollars and these businesses buy and sell locally.”

PABA said the taxes are burdensome and threatened that if their plight is not given a timely consideration, they will close their businesses.

Meanwhile it is proposing LD 225 as yearly taxes to be collected by the City Corporation from businesses.

However, in a morning show yesterday, the Communication boss at the PCC, JaniJallah said taxes paid in 2013 still remain the same to present and that the tax rate remains the same; therefore to say they will not pay is untrue.

Madam Jallah said there is nothing wrong being carried out by the PCC in terms of tax collection or fees because it is a known secret that all businesses have different taxes therefore if a person chooses to remain consistent in the kind of business he or she is doing; taxes remain the same.

She said the PCC remains resolute in collecting its taxes and fees as per the business and rate standard.

However, up to press time, it remained unclear as to whose hands the petition was delivered as Senator Weah is not a member of the Senate Claims and Petition Committee.

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