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Gbarnga increases city taxes?

Residents of Gbarnga, Bong County especially marketers are complaining over an alleged increase in city taxes by the Gbarnga City Cooperation (GCC).

Marketers told our Bong County correspondent recently that the Gbarnga City Cooperation has allegedly increased city taxes, allegedly making some of them afraid to continue their businesses in the city.

According to them, GCC earlier collected city fees based on the status of a business, but the Cooperation is allegedly no longer taxing businesses based on their statuses.

They claim that petty traders carrying goods in waiters or on tables only used to buy tickets on a daily basis while those with shops were told to register with L$650.00.

“But the entire thing has changed,” one of the marketers Gormah Weedor told our correspondent, adding that the City Corporation is now forcing petty traders to pay L$650.00.

She says they cannot afford to pay such money, complaining that it is impossible for a dried pepper seller to pay L$650.00 to GCC because they don’t make such money even through the week.

GCC is now being headed by Mayor Lucia Helbert, appointed by President George Manneh Weah to replace dethroned former Mayor Viola Nyamah Cooper.

But there are claims that the new Gbarnga City Mayor Madam Helbert has not been allegedly active since her appointment by the president. The office is said to be managed by the Administrative Assistant Alex Mulbah who has been in the position for over eight years.

Marketers in Gbarnga say they have explained the situation to officials at the GCC to decrease the city tax, but their requests have allegedly fallen on deaf ears.

A Gbarnga – based rice dealer Mr. Moses Nakamuea has told this paper that the Market Superintendent is not currently in the County so citizens needed to speak to the media to have the public informed about issues confronting them.

When contacted, our correspondent says officials at the Gbarnga City Cooperation deliberately refused to speak to the media, claiming that it was not timely for such discussion.

By Joseph Titus Yekeryan in Bong–Edited by Winston W. Parley

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