Broh Extends Parking Dragnet To Residential, Other Areas
Tuesday, 06 March 2012 17:51
The legislature’s conditional nod to Monrovia’s Acting Mayor
Mary Broh in her city parking fees collection has emboldened her in extending the collection to residential and other areas.
Following a standoff, the legislature halted the scheme, contending that she had no authority to levy taxes.
But President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf intervened, and ordered the Acting Mayor to continue.
But a compromise reached has now taken the parking fees beyond the city’s commercial center into residential areas, with private homes compelled to pay the imposed fees.
A group of uniformed youths stormed the offices of this paper Monday without identification and demanded payment for cars packed there.
Ms. Broh, contacted, said the management of this paper should contact the landlord. When told that the building belongs to the paper, she said it (the paper) should have built a garage. She was informed that the collection would be challenged in court, since this is a residential area.
The extension entails that all those living on Clay Street, Camp Johnson Road, the By-pass, will have to pay daily for parking.
Ms. Broh justified her scheme on grounds that she is ‘leveling the playing field for Liberian entrepreneurs.’ There is no evidence that those given the right to collect fees have invested any amount, except that they are feeding from state property.
This paper has written to Ms. Broh, using the Freedom of Information Act, to release all relevant information tied to the parking fees, including the names of those awarded the contracts and the basis of the awards.
Ms. Broh agreed last week to the new parking fee of L$30 per hour levied by the Plenary of the House of Representatives but with several new measures.
“We will agree to the L$30 but watch out for the next sequence,” Ms. Broh told a news conference last week at her Monrovia City Hall office, adding adding: “There will be no more free space for any government ministries and agencies, no transfer of ticket, and you will park at your own risk,” she said in naming some of her new measures.
“No more free ride…everybody including government officials and members of the diplomatic corps will pay for parking. Can you imagine…even the President pays for parking,” she claimed.
Ms. Broh has also promised to extend the exercise to other parts of the city and demand collection throughout the week except on Sundays.
She said government officials would now be included in paying city-parking fees because non-government employees complained that such exemption was discriminatory against them.
On the issue of the legislature’s claim of being the only body with constitutional powers to levy and impose fines and taxes under article 34 (d) of the Liberian Constitution, Ms. Broh said section 5 of the act passed into law by the same legislature in 1973 creating the city of Monrovia gives the municipality the power to levy taxes, fines and collect fees.