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Tax hikes in Hamilton

The Corporation of Hamilton has announced a “slight tax increase”, which reportedly came into effect at the start of the year.

In a statement yesterday, mayor Charles Gosling said the resolution was necessary as a part of the City’s strategy to increase revenue, which has plummeted in the last ten years. He noted that wharfage income alone had fallen by more than 40 per cent in that time.

A spokeswoman for the municipality noted that Ordinance amendments have not yet been published, adding: “We anticipate that will occur in the coming days and we are therefore preparing the public for the change.

“The changes were only approved in the last two weeks and over the holiday period.

Among the announced changes are a 2 per cent tax increase, a restructured “tiered” residential tax structure similar to land tax and a 5 per cent increase in rental rates at city venues such as Pier 6, the Earl Cameron Theatre and the various parks and streets in the municipality.

Property owners will be responsible for the full municipality rates and will be authorised to collect the tenants’ portion through the rent.

“Where the property is not tenanted, commercial owners may apply for a refund,” the statement said. “This change is in effect because property owners often do not update the city on tenant changes and this will reduce City of Hamilton administration time and costs.”

Residential parking permits will now include a $25 per year administrative charge. Handicapped parking will switch to the full rate, however handicapped spaces will be converted into two-hour parking.

The administrative charge for a handicapped parking permit remains unchanged.

The statement said that sewage connection fees and concession stand fees have also been changed, adding that the City will communicate the changes to affected parties.

• More information will be made available online at www.cityofhamilton.bm