Trade Licenses Fees to be adjusted in 2020
Saturday, July 6th, 2019
In 2020, an adjustment in Trade License fees is expected to come into effect across the country, and businesses will be charged based on their commercial category. On Ambergris Caye, businesses are informed that surveyors from the Ministry of Local Government, along with staff from The San Pedro Town Council will be visiting establishments to collect information from proprietors and at the same time, inform them of the upcoming change in Trade License Fees.
On the island, Mayor Daniel Guerrero said that the idea to categorize businesses would benefit the businesses sector as they will pay fees according to their group. “This is to have a more organized system whereby everyone will pay according to what type of business they do,” said Guerrero. “For example, there will be a different fee for realtors, tour operators, restaurants, and so on. The new policy will have everyone in their right group and fairly charged.” He added that based on the category, some establishments might end paying less than what they are currently paying. Guerrero mentioned that the initiative had been encouraged by the Belize Chamber of Commerce (BCC).
The San Pedro Sun contacted the BCC on Thursday, July 4th. The BCC stated that the project has been in the works for the past five years and they hope that by 2020, it will be operating countrywide. They pointed out that another reason why the system is being implemented is to avoid the disparity when it comes to fees. Currently, certain businesses with the same size and in the same area are paying different fees. “We want to end this system, it is unfair,” said a representative from BCC. They explained that the only space to be measured in a given business should be their product footprint only. “All this time, many areas of the establishment are included in the measurement, like parking lots, where the proprietor does not do business. The only areas that should be measured, are those where the business activity takes place,” BCC’s representative said. This new norm is expected to have an impact on future trade license fees and create an atmosphere of fairness within the business sector across the country.
The SPTC asks business owners on the island to be cooperative with the agents when they visit their premises and to provide them with all necessary information. They are also encouraged to share their questions about the new policy with the surveyors.
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