- HCC clarifies licenses hike for Casinos
- Pacific Casino refuses to pay up
By ANDREW FANASIA
SUPREME Casino refused to pay $100,000.00 Casino Business License to the Honiara City Council after the fee was increased $100,000 from $50,000.
Honiara City Clerk Rence Sore told Solomon Star yesterday.
He pointed out that Business License for Casino increased from $50,000.00 to $100,000.00 in Financial Year 2020.
To justify the increase Sore told this paper that Acting City Clerk Fred Warereau had already stated in a letter dated 17 December 2015.
The letter stated and payment of $50,000.00 annually during the 5-years period 2015-2019, such payment being due 31st January 2016 ($100,000.00 for 2015 and 2016) and annually thereafter.
It further stated and increases from 2020 onward will be reasonable.
But Legal Counsel for Supreme Casino Andrew Radcliffe in his letter obtained by this paper stated that this is inconsistent with the City Council’s position stated in the then City Clerk’s letter to his client dated 17 December 2015.
Radcliffe further stated that the fee last was $50,000.00 and in that letter it clearly states that any increase of fees from 2020 onward will be reasonable.
“A 100% increase is not reasonable and amounts to a tax which the Council does not have the right to impose,” Radcliffe stated in his letter.
He stressed that the Council’s letter said that fees will be reviewed and the review will involve consultation with the Casinos.
“No such consultation was held with my client before this year’s increase in the fees,” he stated.
Radcliffe further advised that the City Council should reconsider their position.
“In the meantime my client will not pay $50,000.00 for the 2020 business license fees,” Radcliffe clearly stated in his letter.
Meanwhile Sore instructed the HCC Legal Office to respond to Radcliffe dated 22 January 2020
In that letter HCC said that their Licensing Office under the Finance Division will withhold issuing of Business License to Supreme Casino.