May 29, 2012, 3:45 PM
The Kanifing Municipal Council (KMC) has threatened to take legal action against people failing to pay their rates and taxes, especially “the so-called business tycoons in the county”.
Abdoulie Sanyang, Chief Executive Officer of the Council, made this revelation in an interview with this reporter recently.
“People must pay their rates and taxes and licence fees in order for the council to sustain its mandate to the people,” CEO Sanyang said.
According to him, the communities are responding by paying their rates and taxes on time.
“But our biggest problem is the so-called business tycoons in town, who don’t want to pay their rates and taxes,” he said, adding that council is using all measures possible to get their money.
Sanyang revealed that the council currently owes NAWEC a huge amount, despite the fact that they recently paid up to D5 million to NAWEC.
“These so-called wealthy people are our main problem, because most of them do not want to pay their rates and taxes,” he said, noting further that even if they pay, it is only a small amount of their arrears.
CEO Sanyang also told our reporter that if these defaulters fail to pay their rates and taxes, the council will take legal action against them as council entirely depends on rates and taxes to carry out development work within the municipality.
“We sent reminders to these defaulters for them to pay their arrears. I believe whoever is a patriotic Gambian should pay their rates and taxes on time,” he added.
CEO Sanyang noted further that, if the President and Vice President can pay their rates and taxes, there should be no reason why others are not paying.
“My advice is for these defaulters to settle their arrears so that we can in turn settle NAWEC, but this cannot be done if the communities and the so-called business tycoons fail to settle their rates and taxes,” he stated.
The Kanifing Municipal Council is not a profit-making institution, but a service delivery institution, he further stated.
“So the people should pay their rates and taxes so that they can get in return services. People should not complain of lack of services without paying their rates and taxes,” Sanyang went on.
The failure of some so-called business tycoons to pay their rates and taxes, CEO Sanyang noted, is sending bad signals to the general public.
Sanyang also used the interview to call on the general public to change their attitude towards waste dumping, noting that council is enforcing the anti-littering law in collaboration with the National Environment Agency (NEA).
“People just keep dumping garbage indiscriminately, and create illegal dump sites, and that is not helping the council to collect and dump garbage. The council also uses a huge amount of money to collect and clear illegal dump sites,” he pointed out.