By Aruna M Kargbo
In a notice to the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, the Mayor of Freetown Municipality, Her Worship Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr stated that the Freetown City Council (FCC) is putting on hold the property rate reform.
That there will be a halt until the requested consultations with the Ministry have been carried out.
“Freetown City Council is in receipt of a letter from the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development dated 3rd July 2020. In the light of that letter, the Freetown City Council is putting on hold the implementation of the Property Rate Reform until the requested consultations with the Ministry have been concluded,” FCC stated.
This is coming after series of disagreement recently between the Freetown City Council (FCC) and the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development on the introduced tax reform by council.
In a letter to Mayor, the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Tamba JS Lamina stated that his responses to the Mayor were targeted on stating the position of the Ministry on the tax reform without responding to her correspondence.
That the Mayor has given him a reason to respond to few paragraphs in a letter written to him by the Mayor.
That he held bilateral discussions with the Mayor in which he encouraged her to disclose projects within the council for the knowledge of the Ministry of Local Government, but that to date the Mayor has only disclosed projects funded by government.
That his understanding is that the property tax reform is a project funded by development partners which the Ministry was not informed of.
“After your open apology in the meeting with my ministry for not following due procedure, I expected that you would come to this ministry to do pathfinding in the predicament in which you have placed yourself and not to put up a defense on the point of law,” Minister Lamina stated.
That as the supervisory ministry of the FCC, he will always draw the attention of Mayor to follow procedure noting that there is only one government and not a federal system.
The Minister reminded the Mayor that when reforms are made on taxes that there are parties who will always object to such amendments noting that the only reference that can be referred to for clarification is the Guideline of the Minister.