By JAMES APA GUMUNO
BUSINESS houses in Mt Hagen city owe city authority about K2.4 million in outstanding land rates.
Some of these outstanding rates go back to 2007.
The business houses have been reluctant to pay the rates to the city authority because the National Court in Mt Hagen in March 2007 ruled that city authority did not have the powers to collect land rates.
The court made the ruling after one of the business houses based in the city, Sek 15 Limited, took the city authority to court over the land rates.
In a press conference yesterday, lord mayor Titus Doa and city manager Victor Megao urged business houses to pay up the land rates they owed to the council.
Legal officer Peter Kar said that the National Government made amendments to the Organic Law on the Provincial and Local Level Government on July 16, 2008, which restored powers to the council to collect land rates.
Mr Kar said the court order taken by Sek 15 Limited no longer had any effect.
Mr Doa said since the new amended law on land rates came into force on Jan 1 last year, several business houses came forward this year and paid up their outstanding bills together with this year’s land rates.
Mr Doa also appealed to the business houses to pay up their trading licence fees, garbage and sanitation fees.
He gave three weeks to the business houses that have not paid up their bills to do so or they would come around their doors with police and closed their business.