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24.07.2002 General News

Tema Companies Refuse to Pay New Rates

By Accra Mail
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Companies in Tema are refusing to pay new rates and taxes being demanded by the Tema Municipal Assembly (TMA) alleging irregularities and illegalities.

In May 2002, Mr Samuel Aryee, Tema Municipal Finance Officer, wrote to various industries and companies within the assembly area to increase their rates.

"Business operating payment demand notice" sent to the companies said "by the provisions of sections 34, 77, 78, 94 and 98 of Act 462 of 1993, the power to levy businesses operating in the municipality is vested in TMA.

"The business operating permit payable depends on the rate levied, capacity and the number of outlets in respect of the rate levied by a resolution of the assembly, a total rate of ....., has been levied on your property, you are to pay this by June 15, 2002".

Some of the companies in the municipality complained about the new taxes some of which were raised from seven million cedis to 20 million cedis, from three million cedis to 10 million cedis and from five million cedis to 15 million cedis.

Mr Aryee told the GNA in an interview that he despatched the letters to the companies without the knowledge of the Finance and Administration (F and A) Sub-committee of the assembly.

He explained that the Sub-Committee later refused to approve the increases because they found no basis for the increases, and more especially there could not be supplementary rate increases in less than six months after the rates had been gazetted.

Mr Aryee, however, refuted the allegations that he had privatised the collection of the new rates, saying no company had paid the revenue since the letters were sent out in May.

The Assembly in January 2002 approved a fee fixing resolution that authorised it to impose taxes on companies, market traders, garage owners and residents with property, among other things, and this resolution was gazetted in February.

The gazetted fees by the TMA were those to be paid by all rateable companies and individuals within the assembly's jurisdiction, and anyone who fails to pay the rates could be dragged to the courts.

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