Kingston losing millions in Amusement fees - Mayor

Mayor of Kingston, Senator Delroy Williams says that the city is losing millions of dollars in amusement fees, on a monthly basis.

Mayor Williams, who declared earlier this year that the entertainment and promotions industry needs order and structure, stated in a release that several promoters are hosting events without the proper permits, while others are being crafty in evading paying the fees.

"It is a long standing issue and we are moving to correct it. In annual licenses issued to public spaces used for entertainment we have seen a decrease of half a million dollars in revenue, over the last three years. There are more businesses, but we are collecting less revenue; something is clearly wrong;" Mayor Williams stated.

The mayor added that the city also loses close to $2 million, on a monthly basis, from events and companies who are under-paying for advertising and permits, on a daily basis.

He went on to declare that he has a love for entertainment and the creative industry, and will be taking steps to ensure that the playing field is level for all stakeholders.

"We cannot have some persons complying and others evading and getting away with it. This may mean we have to revisit regulations and, possibly, create a registry of promoters, as well as work closer with the Jamaica Constabulary Force," he explained.

He added that the Kingston and St Andrew Municipal Corporation (KSAMC) will be engaging offenders through dialogue initially, but will take the necessary steps provided under the law, if necessary, and impose sanctions.

"There is a lot of work to do across the city and this needs revenue. Currently the municipal police force, markets, roadways and drains all need revenue and our hands are being tied," he added.