8 Jul 2008

PNG's Mt Hagen authority stops services - unable to collect necessary land tax.

9:08 pm on 8 July 2008

The manager of the local authority in Mt Hagen in the Papua New Guinea province of Western Highlands says he has laid off most of his staff because he does not have the money to operate.

Richard Culligan says the city has not been mandated to collect land tax for more than a year yet this is its normal source for up to 40 percent of its operational funding.

He says it's the responsibility of the provincial government to delegate the power to the city to ensure it can legally collect the tax, but it has failed to do so.

Mr Culligan says he doesn't know why.

"What is required of me I have already complied with. I have already drafted a new provincial land tax law. I have already made a submission to the province executive council and for some reason they have put it in abeyance."