In early October of this year, the Government of Belize (GOB) announced that it would be implementing the Land Tax Amnesty Programme, after it was passed by the House of Representatives and approved by the Senate in September. While the programme served as an engine to write off millions of dollars in taxes, it also offers the opportunity for land owners who owe property taxes to settle or manage the arrears within a period of six months beginning from October 2019. The San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) was approached regarding this Land Tax Amnesty Programme, and they have clarified that this regulation does not apply to municipalities, and anyone owing property tax to the SPTC must meet their obligations and clear their arrears as soon as possible.

According to Mayor Daniel Guerrero, the amnesty programme applies to dues owed to Central Government only. On Ambergris Caye, Guerrero stated that there are property owners that are up to date with their tax payments, while there are others who are not registered in the system and others have become delinquent. The property landlords not registered in the system are believed to be from the newer planned subdivisions on the island where most of the properties are not developed. Guerrero said it is everyone’s responsibility to register their properties. He stated that with assistance from the Lands Department in the Capital City of Belmopan, they will start to identify and contact those persons that have failed to pay their dues. “What we are doing right now is working on the non-registered properties, they have to get registered, and the delinquents have to come and pay,” said Guerrero. He warned that failure to do so will result in an increment of 1% interest on those arrears.

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