JIS News

Mayor of Portmore, Councillor George Lee, is calling on residents of the municipality to pay their property taxes, noting that the funds went towards the provision of critical services.
“Property taxes are needed to pay for the services and certain community developmental projects and when we clean the drains for example, communities need to ensure that they are kept clean and not cluttered with old refrigerators, old mattresses and other household items being dumped,” he said.
Mayor Lee lamented the low compliance in the payment of property taxes, which he said was about 38 per cent, and of that amount, the Council received about 10 per cent. That small amount, he noted, went towards beautification, environment and sporting projects. “Right now, we have a major programme to build parks throughout Portmore but it must be a joint venture in which communities see the parks as something they must protect and enhance, so the municipality must be a joint venture between the municipal council and the people. The parish council alone cannot do it,” he noted.
According to Mayor Lee, a “serious” public education programme was needed to encourage citizens to take up their responsibility.
“It’s not going to happen overnight but some of us have to be committed to go out there and block by block, build that level of relation and for people to understand that to cut the drain is related to the taxes to pay, to build the park, repair the roads, and even to control crime is related to the paying of taxes,” he said, adding that, “government alone can’t do it”.
The Portmore Mayor pointed to a growing acknowledgement and acceptance by residents of their participatory role in the development process, which was being facilitated through a vibrant series of community meetings.