One non governmental organisation (NGO) has been slapped with the Municipal Solid Waste Tax and its leaders are now scratching their heads trying to figure out how to pay the outstanding bill of $15 000.
Dr Nigel Taylor, head of the Barbados Boy Scouts Association, said while the bill arrived at the association’s Hazlewood, Collymore Rock, St Michael headquarters two days ago, he had not a clue where to source the first installment of $8 000 to be paid by July 28.
The tax, which has sparked concern among householders and businesses in the last week, is calculated at 0.3 per cent of the site value of the land.
Speaking to the media after the association’s annual general meeting yesterday evening, Dr Taylor declared that organisation was cash strapped as is proven in its latest financial report and would be unable to pay the bill on its own.
“You would also realise that the money we would have sourced through covenants would have been $4 000. The initial programmes that we have in scouting supersedes that by thousands of dollars and currently leaders pay their own way for training. So it comes back to the question of how are we going to deal with that [municipal tax bill]? The answer is very simple. I don’t have a clue. $7 000 is a whole set of money for Boy Scouts when in actual fact we don’t raise that
kind of money.”
“Already some of my people are worried as to what we can do. The only thing I can do is to invoke the subsection under the Act which says try to seek some intervention through the Minister [of Finance] because I am telling you that we cannot find [almost $ 8 000] to pay in July,” he stressed.
In order to survive financially, the leader indicated that the NGO depended primarily on a subvention from Government, donations from friends and fundraising activities as it tackled a number of fiscal challenges. He enunciated in his report that the association needed to seek another source to raise much needed funds.
When asked if selling the Boy Scouts headquarters valued at over $5 million was one of the answers to solving the organisation’s financial woes, including the Municipal Tax bill, Dr Taylor said while the location was prime property, selling it off was not an option at this point in time.
“All things are possible, but the reality is I cannot make a determination on such a serious topic. That would have to go through the executive, feasibility plan, an analysis, we would have to do all sort of things in order to come up with a hypothesis as to where we would go and what we would do. But again that could very well be one of the the options though it is not the one that is on the table right now,” the leader assured.
He added: “One of the critical things that we need to understand as it relates to scouting is that it is not really about selling the property, it is about looking for a place where we can develop the boys and we have been doing it here.
“Everybody prides their property and I think that this is our prized property. We have no encumbrances on it, we try to pay our insurance. . .”