Local authorities collect millions in building permit fees
More than $63 million was collected in fees from 4,665 building permits that were issued by the local authorities between April 2017 and March 2018.
The figure is contained in the 2017-2018 annual performance report of the Ministry of Local Government and Community Development, which was recently tabled in Parliament.
According to the ministry, 4,020 or 88.56 per cent of the building permits were approved. Of that number, 3,560 were reported to have been approved within 90 days.
“The overall estimated investment value of all applications approved within the 2017-2018 financial year, to include outstanding applications brought forward from the 2016-2017 financial year, is $65.78 million,” the ministry said.
The four municipal corporations which earned most significantly from building application fees were Kingston and St Andrew with an estimated value of $25 million; St James with $6.5 million; St Ann, $5.4 million; and St Catherine with $4.8 million.
Kingston and St Andrew also accounted for the most applications received for commercial purposes, for which 191 out of a total of 485 were approved over the review period.
Meanwhile, the Local Government Ministry reported achieving 88 per cent of its property tax collection target, raking in $8.5 billion of the targeted $9.6 billion for the financial year. Three municipal corporations exceeded their targets. These were Kingston and St Andrew, which achieved 107 per cent; Portmore at 101 per cent; and St Mary, also at 101 per cent. Trelawny met its target at 100 per cent.
The ministry said its mobile collection unit facilitated thousands of residents across the island, in the process collecting some $240 million in property tax revenues.