Trade Licenses are a standard feature for every business operating in Belize's various municipalities. But what if that business is a moving enterprise, like a taxi?

Well now, the city council says they have to pay a trade license fee as well! It may sound like one of those crazy revenue measure for Deputy Mayor Dean Samuels says it is a rational, well thought out plan for only 33 cents a day. That may not sound like much, but it's $120 dollars a year for taxi drivers! We today spoke to Samuels who broached it with the heads of the taxi unions at a meeting last week. We also spoke with the head of one of the city's largest unions…..

Deputy Mayor Dean Samuels
"We will be levying a fee of $10 per person from each one of these taxi association."

Jules Vasquez
"Per year, month or day?"

Deputy Mayor Dean Samuels
"It will be $10 per month, which I believe is pretty decent. Jules $10 personally is about close to $0.33 a day so I think it's very reasonable and in no kind of way I believe that is encroaching on a burden on these taxi members. First off let me say there are a lot of these members in that meeting applauded the initiative and like what I said these guys got up and applauded the effort and some of them had applied already for their trade license."

Steven Skeen, President of Albert Street Taxi Union
"Like I said I've been dealing with taxi for over 40 years and this is first time I have heard of a trade license for taxi. Most of the drivers concerns are; it's not about paying but the way how it's being handled. They seem to think that this was brought on suddenly on them."

Deputy Mayor Dean Samuels
"Jules, this initiative did not just come about. It started in about 2007. Again as a peddler or as a business operator within the city on a whole we all have to pay a trade license fee to operate your due business. Well this definitely was the background or the basis of why we decided to enforce this initiative that we started 2007."

Steven Skeen
"They are very reluctant at this time because of the prices of gasoline and all the other things. Like I said they are willing to pay but not quite suddenly as this thing has happen. They are looking forward to an extended time so that this thing can sink in."

Deputy Mayor Dean Samuels
"Jules, firstly would say every single within this country when it comes to gas - I think all of us is feeling the pinch and burden but that not stop the fees that we have to pay to operate or to do business."

Steven Skeen
"In the past few days I have spoken to quite a few of the executives from different branches of unions and cooperatives and as a matter of fact there is a little at 5 o' clock this evening to see what we can come up with and put our options on the table. We are willing to dialogue, that's not a problem."

Skeen's union has 33 members and as such will have to pay a combined $3,600 dollars….. He will meet with his members about it tomorrow night…

Channel 7