This morning we held a consultation meeting with a cross section of representatives of the Krio Descendants Union, the Krio Community and others. Among those present were Mr Samuel Valcarcel, Mr Kobi Walker, Mr Christoph E F John, Mrs Josephine Buck, Alhaji Savage and Madame Femi Claudius-Cole.
The meeting, which was convened at their request, was to address concerns and provide clarification about Freetown City Council’s (FCC) property rates and business license reform.
During the three hour discussion Mayor Aki-Sawyerr explained that it is a fundamental change in the basis of valuing properties which resulted in some property rates increasing whilst many others decreased. She presented to the delegation data that confirmed that the annual property rates for 80% of all properties in Freetown will still be Le500,000 or less with the new system. That amounts to about Le42,000 per month.
With the property rates system not having been reviewed for decades, FCC has not been able to effectively deliver the services its residents want, from maintenance of our 11 cemeteries to provision of adequate numbers of sanitary inspectors and much more.
The discussion also covered the need for a policy for pensioners and those with extenuating circumstances. It was clarified that the property rate is an annual charge that can be paid in monthly installments. Consideration is also being given by FCC to further extending this year’s due date and a notice will be communicated shortly.
The meeting was very constructive with those attending confirming that they now had a better understanding of the property rate reform and were supportive of it.
FCC will continue to engage all Freetonians to ensure that misconceptions about the new system are clarified. There is an Enquiries and Appeals Desk at FCC and residents are encouraged to call 078333000, 088333000 or 034333000 if they have any questions or concerns about their property rates or business licenses.