By JAMES APA GUMUNO
MORE than 20 business houses in Mt Hagen owe the local authorities more than K250,000 in land taxes, sanitation, garbage collection and other fees for this year alone.
Some have not paid up for more than a year and have continued to ignore appeals from the local authorities.
City manager Victor Megao said yesterday that the authorities did not wish to go to court to force these companies to pay up.
He said their attitude was unfair to the rest of the community.
“If they do not wish to pay their dues, they should pack up and go back to their villages,” he said.
“There are many companies looking for space to do business in Mt Hagen.”
Megao said the city authorities depend on various taxes to keep the city clean and conducive for business houses to operate and for the people to live in.
He also appealed to Western Highlanders living near the city to look after people from other places.
“The city is booming and cash flow is high.
“The people must change their mindset and allow people from other provinces to move around freely and go back.
“More people will come and spend their money in the city,” he said.
Megao said the “Hagen Kona Kai” programme initiated by governor Tom Olga was making a big impact in the city.
“It helps to keep the city clean and reduce petty crimes on the street. People generally feel safe to move around.”