Body 2000 gym resolves trade license issue

By Alexis R. Milan
Staff Reporter

A leading Belize City gym, Body 2000, has resolved its trade licensing issue with the Belize City Council and re-opened this week after being forcibly shut down last week by City Council personnel and police officers.

Mayor Darrell Bradley said he was not aware of the specific details regarding the trouble with Body 2000, but observed that stop-orders are typically sent out in the second quarter of the year to businesses who have not paid their trade license taxes.

Bradley, who is also a member of the gym, said CitCo usually works with businesses to resolve these kinds of issues and avoid business shut-downs.
According to Bradley, the shut-downs are just a method to collect on the City’s taxes, which it needs for maintenance, upkeep and financing of other projects for the municipality.

The procedure along with others, he said, has been successful, so much so that the collection rate on trade license taxes is 97 percent.
Bradley said that rate is high for the region and the collection rate on property taxes has gone from 67 to 80 percent since he first took office.

Bradley conceded, however, that the rates on trade license taxes are too high, currently valued at 25 percent of the annual rental value, and this has caused many business people to take their businesses outside the city limits, where trade license and property taxes don’t apply.
He said the Council is concerned and understands they must make the City a viable option for businesses.

Currently there is a task force in place which collaborates with the Chamber of Commerce, tasked with several proposals to modify the municipality’s tax scheme.

Bradley said the Council will make its recommendations, but ultimately the Central Government will need to make legislative changes in the law.
In the meantime, businesses must comply with the laws in place at this time, he said.

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