Township’s Commissioner Linked To Collecting Illegal Taxes
Documents in the possession of this paper indict the Commissioner of the Township of Congo Town, Madam Ade Captan, wife of former Liberian Foreign Minister Monie R. Captain, of allegedly engaging in illegal collections of taxes and municipal fees from businesses in the Township of Congo Town, Monrovia, something which is in direct contravention of the 2012 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed between the Monrovia City Corporation (MCC) and the Township of Congo Town.
Section 1.3.4 of the 2012 MOU reached between the MCC and the Congo Town Township gave the MCC the exclusive power to collect taxes from businesses in the Congo Town Township. Section 1.3.4 of the 2012 MOU also states that “MCC shall be the sole collecting authority clothed with the responsibility to impose and collect local taxes including billboards and other fees from business operation within the township and shall issue receipt evidencing each transaction.”
The duration of the MOU also states that
“This MOU shall have perpetual existence and shall remain the working and legal authority of the MCC from time to time unhindered.”
However, despite the agreement reached with the MCC, the Captan led administration of the Township of Congo Town, headed by Madam Ade Captan, is said to be going contrary to the provisions stipulated in the MOU.
Also, documents in the possession of this news medium point to series of orders reportedly issued by Commissioner Captan for the collection of fees and taxes from businesses in the Township.
“The Office of the Commissioner of the Township of Congo Town wishes to inform Businesses operating within the Township of Congo Town to make the payment of all municipal taxes and fees to the office of the Commissioner of Congo Town as they have done during previous years,” a notice from the office of Commissioner Captan, dated 4th April 2018, instructed businesses in the Congo Town Township. Commissioner Captan’s notice further instructed that: “Accordingly, the office of the Commissioner of the Township of Congo Town will be opened from Monday to Friday every week from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM, as anyone making payment should ensure that genuine receipt is obtained from the office of the Commissioner of the Township of Congo Town.”
Commissioner Captan’s communication to businesses within Congo Town Township also warned that:
“Let this information claim the attention of all concerned businesses and individuals within the Township of Congo Town.”
When contacted for a response, the office of Commissioner Captan gave conflicting information to a team of journalists who had gone to enquire and to also ascertain the facts from her on the basis of documents obtained by journalists.
Alvin Brown, Clerk of the office of Commissioner Captan, informed journalists that his boss was on a serious duty at the Capitol Building, while another gentleman, also an employee in the office of the Commissioner, who declined to call his name to the press, claimed the Commissioner normally do not come to work on Fridays and therefore, there were no other means for the journalists to talk to her.
Meantime, while the public awaits Commissioner Captan’s official response on the damaging allegation charged against her, there are reports that she has already collected millions of dollars from businesses situated within the Congo Town Township, but the Liberian Network has not independently corroborated those pieces of information relative to her alleged illegitimate dubious financial transactions within the township.
“I have received two different notices. On April 4th, 2018, the office of the Commissioner of Congo Town notified me that I should pay my tax to her office and not the Monrovia City Corporation (MCC),” David Lagree, General Manager of the Ghana Chop Bar, a popular entertainment center situated at the SKD Boulevard Junction in Congo Town informed a team of investigative journalists in Monrovia over the weekend in Monrovia.
“Also, on 20th April 2018, the MCC issued a notice to us that we should not pay taxes to the Congo Town Commissioner because they’re not clothed with the responsibility to collect taxes. As a result of these two instructions, I am confused on what exactly to do right now. I think the MCC and the Township should handle their differences because this is affecting my business. Just this morning, I lost a lot of customers, and my businesses, including other businesses within the township, are being seriously affected by this confusion between the MCC and the Township of Congo Town,” he added.