Hope Town District Council Chief Councillor Jeremy Sweeting signed the agreement between the Ministry of Finance and the Hope Town District Council allowing the local office to collect tax revenue. The local tax office is set to open June 1. The office will be located on the western end of the Library building in Hope Town.
At the signing, Chief Councillor Sweeting issued the following statement: “I am so proud today to have signed this agreement with the Ministry of Finance, on behalf of the Hope Town District Council.
“This definitely ranks in one of the finer moments of my local government tenure.
“But more than any personal milestone, this is much bigger. This agreement will serve and benefit the district of Hope Town, for generations to come.
“This agreement will allow local government to administrate and manage the collection of Real Property Tax within our district.
“Under this agreement, We will retain a fixed percentage of the taxes collected that will be used for capital improvements in the district. We will have our own tax office in the district.
“This is without a doubt the biggest advancement to the Local Government Act since its coming into force in 1996.
“The Prime Minister during his budget communication last year, mentioned that it was the Hope Town District Council that lobbied and fought for these legislative advancements.
“Additionally, most of the time in government, the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing, so tying local government to the Real Property Tax office, we will begin the practice of getting a report from our Real Property Tax office on persons applying for a building permit or a dock. And as a local government authority, we will not favourably consider an application unless the Real Property taxes are current. This adds a little more teeth to the enforcement with these two offices now under the purview of local government.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank the government for listening to our proposal and taking action to make this a reality in last year’s budget debate. It truly is a monumental step forward.”
To read the Chief Councillor’s full statement visit the Hope Town District Council’s Facebook page.