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St James Parish Council - Expanding
the purse strings to better serve
Government needs to facilitate Councils benefiting from that
(GCT) pool of taxes. and Kerr-Jarrett... we want to see the
setting up of a municipal court in Montego Bay.
James-King, Staff Reporter
BUREAU: THE ST. James Parish Council is wringing its hands
in frustration over the refusal of taxi operators to use designated
taxi stands, and the organisation is convinced that one sure
way of netting additional revenue, must be to levy fines for
of the St. James Parish Council, Chris-topher Powell, argued
that, "during late November, we ensured that proper facilities
were in place at the taxi stand at St. Claver Avenue before
we insisted that they use the location. Even so, very few
of the drivers are using that location and they continue to
park along the streets."
The Gleaner carried out its own checks, it also found that
taxi operators are also defiant in utilising the Transportation
Centre on Barnett Street.
Secretary/Manger is anxiously awaiting moves to implement
new parking regulations. The St. James Parish Council official
is hoping the regulations will become a reality soon, thereby
giving the Council the authority to toe vehicles found in
no-parking areas, and so benefit from towing and impounding
agreeing that the Council can rake in big bucks from traffic
violations, the Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce is underscoring
the need for the Council to benefit from new government policy
that goes beyond traffic violations.
want to see the setting up of a municipal court in Montego
Bay," demanded Mark Kerr-Jarrett, former president of
the Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce. "The police are
stretched. If we had a municipal court, some traffic violations
could be put in the hands of municipal wardens."
Chamber explained that not only would the municipal court
help to restore a measure of law and order in the 'Second
City', but it would also be able to raise revenue from litter
breaches, impounding of stray animals and zoning violations.
suggestion on expanding the purse strings of the St. James
Parish Council has come from Pearnel Charles, Jamaica Labour
Party spokesman on Local Government. Mr. Charles called on
the Council to lock horns with the major players in the tourist
industry, to improve the parish. Noting that if Parish Councils
are to become more effective their revenue base needs to be
boosted, Mr. Charles recommended that the income for the Councils
not be confined to property taxes, but be allowed to include
the proceeds from tax on hotel rooms and departure taxes.
is no reason why the St. James Parish Council shouldn't be
able to get the proceeds from any taxes levied at the sea
and airports and from the tax on hotel rooms," insisted
Mr. Charles. "GCT (General Con-sumption Tax) is one of
the biggest revenue earning areas, but the Parish Councils
currently don't get anything from GCT. Government needs to
facilitate their benefiting from that pool of taxes."
Charles made an impassioned plea for Parish Councils to clean
up any negative images that they might have, especially in
the awarding of contracts. He said: "In order that the
nation can feel comfortable that more revenue should be assigned
to Parish Councils, they need to clean up their image and
stay away from pork barrel politics."