Extend the opening hours for tax offices – Mandeville mayor

MANDEVILLE, Manchester — Mandeville Mayor Donovan Mitchell has suggested an extension of opening hours at collectorates, often referred to as tax offices, to limit the rush and assist in crowd control amid the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

“You should be able to open the tax office at 7:00 am and close it at 7:00 pm,” Mitchell argued at the Manchester Municipal Corporation monthly meeting last Thursday.

“The problem you have is that when you condense the time most persons converge in one place; but if you say seven to seven, people will automatically have time to go and do their business and you [employers] can regulate your staff,” Mitchell said.

The mayor warned his colleagues to brace for a fall in the municipal corporation’s revenue as a result of COVID-19-related restrictions at tax collection offices.

“They have suspended the collection of cash or even collection for property tax from Mandeville. I don’t know if they are doing it in Christiana (northern Manchester). That alone is going to create some problems for our finances in the council, because that is where we get most of our money for our expenses here, so we have to take that into consideration. We are in for some serious times,” he said.

Tax Administration Jamaica said on May 7 that it had extended the suspension for collection of property tax and motor vehicle certificate of fitness fees at several major tax offices across the island. It said the suspension will remain in effect until further advised. Customers will be required to make payments for property tax and motor vehicle certificate of fitness fee online at www.jamaicatax.gov.jm for the duration of the in-line service suspension.

— Kasey Williams

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