The Revenue Enhancement Support Program (R.E.S.P.) is expected to help the city and town councils improve their tax collection and manage their spending more efficiently, according to the R.E.S.P. final report. presented at the George Price Centre for Peace and Development in Belmopan on Wednesday morning, July 24.
Financial Consultants Peter Doty and Edmund Zuniga carried out the project as a component of the Belize Municipal Development Project (B.M.D.P.) to build up the capacity of the town council’s staff over an 18-month period.
The project’s main aim is to strengthen the city and town councils and make them more effective in executing their responsibilities and to become more financially sustainable.
The technical assistance implemented the recommendations of the Municipal Finance and Revenue Enhancement Report and other suggestions to enhance revenue and manage finances.
The consultants analyzed a number of procedures, including the current procedure of reporting to the Ministry of Local Government. They also assessed the current levels of annual financial commitments of the various towns and city councils for maintenance of municipal infrastructure and other capital assets and revenue generation. They also identified new sources of funding, priorities for the improvement of municipal finance and they developed a work program to implement their suggestions.
The Social Investment Fund is implementing the $30.0 million project which the Government of Belize is financing through the World Bank.
Mayors and Deputy Mayors of all city and town councils attended the presentation of the final report, along with Town Administrators, members of the B.M.D.P. Project Steering Committee, Chief Executive Officers from various Ministries and representatives of the Ministry of Local Government, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Social Investment Fund..