Earlier, you heard the mayor complain about the hard time city hall will have keeping up with its wage bill. But, the council is collecting revenue at
a record clip – and today it unveiled a new way for you to pay your property tax online – thus avoiding lone lines at city hall. Here’s more:..
Jules Vasquez Reporting…
Marilyn Ordonez - City Council – Financial Controller
“City council is moving from being static to dynamic. Welcome.”
Indeed, it is a tax collector’s dream – paying online without the administrative hassle of lines or paperwork.
But the mayor says it’s also about city residents:
Darrell Bradley - Mayor, Belize City
"We're talking about an approach the city council really believes in to make governmental services easier for people to access. An we are moving in
this area to have more of an e-governance approach.”
And one which the mayor says will appeal to Belizeans living abroad:
"A tremendous market for this is for people who live abroad. A lot of people when I go to conferences are a big thing people ask about is how they pay
their taxes. These are people who want to pay but they don't have a mechanism to pay."
And this mechanism is fairly simple: you just go to the city Council website, and drag down the “WEB” menu on the far right and scroll down to “Property
Tax and Trade Online Payment” – and it connects you to the Atlantic Bank bill payment portal.
OR you can go directly to the Atlantic Bank website where various companies have their bill payment options.
You need a credit card and the confidence that it’s safe:
Pedro Lozano, Electronic Banking Manager - Atlantic Bank
"Entering your credit card information and your security code and your expiration date. All these transactions is done in a secure environment that we
say in our jargon is PCI DSS compliant which means it meets the data security standards that is international required by us. So you can feel secure
and feel at rest at what you are doing here is fully secure, no one will see it no one will have access to it. So there's no risk with your cards."
And with the hassle free transaction which should be over in two to three minutes, the mayor hopes that more people pay their tax on time:
"The city council has had a substantial arrears of property taxes for a significant period of time. Within the last 15 months, with various initiatives
including the blocking of driver's license and dealing with increase payments, including this initiative we are launching today; we're please to report
we have cut that down by 27%. We can know and track that over the last year, we have had 15% increase collections in property taxes over 1 year. From
62 to 77, we can track these things and these things are working because of partnerships like this with Atlantic Bank and the other mechanisms we have
put in place.”
And today in a political flourish – the mayor gave a gift to the first resident who paid online – an elderly resident who is confined to a wheelchair.