Press "Enter" to skip to content

Dispute arises between city council and Chetumal businesses regarding operating permit

Chetumal, Q.R. — Business owners in Chetumal are rejecting what they say, is a new permit to operate. Merchants from the state capital city say they will refuse to pay a new environmental operating permit that is being requested by the municipality.

At a press conference, César Antonio Iut, general secretary of the Union of Merchants and Service Providers, said that the permit is “a charge for no reason” and that small stores such as mini-supers do not carry out activities that pollute the environment. Therefore, they should not have to obtain the permit, which he added, costs 1,200 peso.

“This will hurt our economy, more so now in times of the pandemic,” he complained. “If in December we had 30 percent sales and now we are at 20 percent, where do you think we will get money to pay for this if we are all in debt?”

He detailed that they already have to pay 1,200 peso for garbage collection and another 500 for Civil Protection approval and if they add another 1,200 peso, they run the risk of several businesses ending up bankrupt.

“They want to implement it (the new permit) because they say there is no money, but we are not to blame for that. They have always had their budget and their income,” he commented.

Rafael Chan, lawyer for the association said that if the new tax is not duly substantiated, so they will file a letter with City Council to express their refusal and, if there is no response, they will resort to Amparo protection collectively.

However, the Othón P. Blanco City Council says the operating permit is not new. “Charges for environmental operation is not new and is minimal,” clarified Chetumal mayor Yensunni Martínez.

The environmental operation permit, requested by the City Council of Othón P. Blanco, is not new and is usually given at a discount each year, she said calling the denunciation of the tax by a group of businessmen “political bashing.”

“This tax has existed for a long time. What happened is that an administrative discount was made to them, not reflected in the income budget,” she explained. From 1,200 peso, this permit becomes 200 peso, since the law prevents it from being exempted, she said.

“They want to make a grid about issues that don’t exist, but that are on paper,” she said adding that they prefer to turn to the press before city council itself, noting that their complaint comes on the day before electoral processes.