Court Orders Companies Within the Free Zone Enclave to Pay Property Rate Within 60 Days or Face Auctioning

31-05-2019

Court Orders Companies Within the Free Zone Enclave to Pay Property Rate Within 60 Days or Face Auctioning

The Tema high court on 16th May 2019 gave a strong ruling ordering free zones enterprises within the free zone enclave to redeem their property rate to the Kpone Katamanso Municipal Assembly within 60 days from the date of the ruling.

Judge, Justice John Eugene Nyante Nyadu indicated that companies that would fail to adhere to this ruling by refusing to pay within the ruling time would have their properties auctioned to defray their indebtedness to the assembly as enshrined in the Local Governance Act 2016 (Act 936).

The information available reveals that free zones companies have in the past refused to pay property rates under the pretense that it is part of the exemptions they are supposed to enjoy. Unfortunately, the recent judgement comes to affirm a first ruling which was delivered on the 25th May 2018 also indicating strongly that property rates and other local authority levies are not part of the numerous exemptions enjoyed by free zones enterprises under the Free Zones Act 504 (1995) or the Free Zones (Amendment) Act 2002.

“By this order, the affected properties would be sold after sixty days from the date of this order if the property rates in respect of those properties are not paid by then.

Those respondents that contend that the Tema Metropolitan Assembly has served similar statutory notices on them (i.e. rival claim) should apply to the court by way of a stakeholder interpleader action to have the amounts paid into court and for the appropriate Municipal Assembly to apply to court to receive same after the appropriate Municipal Assembly is determined accordingly.

The suit is adjourned to the 17th of June 2019 for assessment
of cost”.

 

Source: https://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/business/Court-orders-companies-within-the-free-zone-enclave-to-pay-property-rate-within-60-days-or-face-auctioning-750719

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