August 22, 2108
By Binta Njie-Jatta
Tribal Chiefs, Slum Dwellers Association and Traders Council Monday received local tax booklets from the Freetown City Council Mayor at a ceremony held in her parlour in Freetown.
Addressing stakeholders, Mayor Yvonne Aki-Sawyer dilated on issues ranging from the significance of paying tax, Council’s housing and urban planning considering the current geography of the city, fighting flooding, upgrading markets, to the possibilities of paying tax using Orange and Africell Money.
The mayor emphasised the importance of tribal authorities’ involvement in the distribution and sale of local tax, thus urging slum dwellers to materialise their promise of helping to develop the city through local tax payment.
On his part, Secretary General for the Local Chiefs, Chief Mathew Jibao Young, thanked the mayor for resuscitating their support to the council, disclosing that they made more than one billion Leones for the Herbert Williams administration.
“I believe that when the council gives us the local tax to sell to our people they will listen to us more,” he said
Chief Young advised the mayor to fix a timeline for the collection of local tax and urged her to set up checkpoints for those who would want to evade it.
Referencing the local tax ordinance, he added that people who evade tax must pay three times the actual cost.
“In Freetown, every person wants the services, but not everyone wants to pay their local tax,” he noted.
President of the Slum Dwellers Association, Yirah Oryakis Conteh, expressed gratitude to the mayor, stating that they have been aggrieved by not being involved in such activities even though they constitute 35% of the city’s population.
She, however, challenged slum dwellers to ensure that everyone above 18 years pays tax because it is a right, thus assuring the mayor of their continuous support.
Vice President of the Traders Council, Foday Sahid Kamara, echoed similar sentiments.
FCC Finance Officer, Mohammed Madina Bah, provided the stakeholders with payment procedures, stating that tribal heads will get a commission of one hundred thousand (Le100, 000) Leones per booklet, while other stakeholders would be receiving seventy-five thousand (Le75, 000) per booklet.
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He urged them to adhere to the payment arrangements for the betterment of the partnership and the city.