Jamaica Gleaner / The Kingston and St Andrew Municipal Corporation (KSAMC) is stepping up efforts to get persons to apply for place of amusement licences before staging any event.
Addressing the KSAMC monthly meeting on Tuesday, Councillor Vernon McLeod argued that numerous events are being held without the payment of the prescribed fees, depriving the council of millions of dollars in revenue.
“There is a total disregard for the need to apply for permit in some cases by many operators, and some of them really do not know, some know and some deliberately try to escape applying for the licence so as not to pay the fees,” said McLeod.
“Even if it’s a house party, once the public is invited, they need to know that they should apply.
I think that many people who are having house parties, they don’t understand that they need to apply for a licence,” added McLeod.
The KSAMC charges a low of $3,500 and a high of $15,000 per day for each event.
“Residents need to know that they must do these things, and also if they continue to breach it then they will have to meet the penalties,” said McLeod.
But Councillor Dennis Gordon warned that the corporation should ensure that it is not asking people (to pay fees) while not ensuring that they get what they are paying more for.
Gordon, who sits on the opposition benches, said his main concern was for the small promoters.
“Eight-eight per cent of the revenue collected comes from the small entrepreneurs, and for those of you who love to talk about prosperity, this is a true sense of where prosperity is pressuring poor people.
“So I seek equity in policing the bigger events because we cannot continue to undermine our own process by not enforcing the rules and regulations,” said Gordon.