Beepat calls for apology; Mayor sees silver lining in CJ ruling to come

The fallout between the Giftland Group and the Georgetown Mayor and City Council over rates and taxes continues to deepen.

Even as CEO of Giftland Group Roy Beepat is calling on City Mayor Ubraj Narine for a public apology, the Georgetown City Council is maintaining that the Chief Justice’s ruling could have major benefits for the council and other local government organisations on the issue of rates and taxes.

Chief Justice (ag) Roxane George-Wiltshire who gave an oral ruling on the matter of rates and taxes brought to court by Giftland Group is expected to hand down orders on March 1st on this issue.

Beepat in public statements said that the CJ ruled that his company does not owe  the Georgetown Mayor & City Council (M&CC) rates and taxes as he has promised to take legal actions against the Mayor for libel.

“So, Mayor, you better get yourself here by 2 o’clock because we are serious now,” Beepat said in a press conference on Friday, “your damage has been done, and now it is time for you to admit your wrong and say you’re sorry, and we would be willing to accept that,” Beepat quipped.

On Friday morning, Mayor Narine and lawyer for the council, Darren Wade told the media that the court quashed the demand notes sent by the city to the company as the Chief Valuation Officer failed to follow the law, “that law is Chapter 28/04, the valuation for rates and taxes act as we are aware that properties are to be valued every five years, the reality is that the properties in the Georgetown and entire country has not been valued since 1996 consequently there is no lawful list,” Wade said.

Wade said too that valuation officers erred over the years by not valuating properties, “the court is of the view that laws relating to taxes must be strictly followed.

So, as a result of the failure by the Minister and Chief Valuation Officer the court held that demanding taxes are unlawful,” Wade explained.

The lawyer said that the Chief Justice is of the view that a modern evaluation must be done in order for the council to demand taxes.