Everyone can’t Pay Rates as Required

Published : 9:59 am  April 9, 2015 | No comments so far |  |  (442) reads | 

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By Muditha Dayananda

Residents have defaulted on rate payments due to the Homagama Pradeshiya Sabha amounting Rs. 49 million for the year 2014 although the due amount was around  Rs 79 million  said Pradeshiya Saba Chairman Ruwan Praboda Peiris yesterday. The defaulted amount almost equalled the Rs. 48 million defaulted payments for the year 2013.

Most residents of Vathara, Venovalkola, Pahalagama areas   have defaulted on their payments, the PS chairman said.
“Out of the 91 Grama Niladhari divisions falling under the purview of the Pradeshiya Saba, 31 fall under the administration of the Vathara office.Therefore, Vathara has to be the area giving the highest income to us. However, the people in the area have not paid their rates for several years and our revenue is almost halved each year because of this,” he said.

“The Pradeshiya Sabha made Rs. 5 lakhs this year after acquisition notices were sent to the rate payment defaulters. We hope to continue the process of acquiring properties of defaulters after the Sinhala and Hindu New Year,” Peiris said.

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He went on to say the Pradeshiya Sabha collected Rs. 15 million from sales tax, Rs. 5 from factory licences, Rs. 2 million from permits, Rs. 1.9 million from lease payments for stalls, Rs. 2.1 million from meat stalls and Rs. 4.9 million from the sathi pola. These payments are made on time, we only have defaulters when it comes to rates,” Peiris said.

Opposition leader of the Pradeshiya Saba Aruna Panagoda said that some of the poorest residents were from Vathara and that it was decided to collect rates from these areas in 2001. “Even though these areas are supposed to give us the highest income, the area gives us the lowest income for this reason. Even if we try to get these residents who are mainly farmers and small businessmen to pay, they don’t have the funds to do so,” he said.

“Even if we try to get these residents who are mainly farmers and small  businessmen to pay, they don’t have the funds to do so– Homagama PS Chairman”

However, the PS chairman speaking on the issue said that services to residents in the area were provided from the rates collected.  “When the rates are not paid on time it becomes difficult for us to provide the necessary services and also start new projects. Therefore we request the rates are paid on time,” he said.