Interesting surprise for Tbilisi population
By Messenger Staff
Monday, June 27The Georgian authorities frequently boast about the great successes of the country. We are permanently fed with information that Georgia is the top reformist country. It is first when it comes to registering businesses and it is among the leading countries in various other spheres.
We are happy to inform our readers that currently Georgia has implemented a brand new scheme where it has become the leader. Last week Tbilisi City council (Sakrebulo) adopted a new form of collecting taxes from the population of Tbilisi for cleaning the streets of the capital of domestic waste. Until recently the payment was fixed for the Tbilisi population. Each person paid GEL 2.4 monthly. That means that a family of three would pay GEL 7.2 monthly and so on. However from July 1 Tbilisi citizens will be paying different tariffs. The payment from removing domestic garbage from the streets will depend on the consumed electricity. That means the more electricity you consume the more garbage you use and, ultimately, more you should pay. The price of this payment from July 1 will be 5 tetris for every consumed kilowatt of electricity. So, according to this system if a household spends one hundred kilowatts a month it is liable to pay 100 kilowatts X 5 tetris = 500 tetris, GEL 5.
The authors and supporters of this new plan were asked several times by angry opponents and angrier journalists if there was any precedent for the system anywhere in the world. Of course this question allowed the authorities to claim the championship in this direction, because this is yet another area where Georgia could consider itself a worldwide leader. So far no supporters of this concept, neither in City Hall nor elsewhere among the ruling party members, could name any country in the world with the same type of very unusual taxation. So we are the champions again!
The skeptical opposition tried to oppose and hinder this remarkable system by suggesting/asking some absurd issues/questions. Firstly whether this has been practiced anywhere in the world, secondly by mentioning that there are certain districts in Tbilisi where there are no natural gas facilities and the population uses electricity for heating, cooking and hot water. It was explained that in the latter case City Hall would take additional measures but gave no details of what these would entail. The opposition members of the City Hall Council even dared to suggest that eventually this would increase the burden of payments on the population. The answer was negative. The payment will increase for those who consume more electricity, therefore they are richer, let them pay more. As for the poor members of the population they already consume the minimum of required electricity. So this would be an incentive for them to spend even less. Of course this is done for the advantage of the population. The mischievous opposition would not stop however, mentioning that Telasi – an electricity distributing company in Tbilisi - belongs to Russians. So, why should this payment be connected to their utilities?
Moreover some opposition analysts have been launching some wild ideas as well: as the garbage payment depended on the number of household members, it would be very easy to calculate the total number of Tbilisi citizens. People had been visiting the municipality to give details of relatives who had died or left the country, thus ensuring that they were not overcharged for cleaning tax. Ultimately this would make it easier for any interested person to accurately calculate the number of Tbilisi citizens. If one then subtracts the approximate number of children under 18, you will have an almost exact figure for the number of voters. Isn't the opposition being ever so mischievous?