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Tuesday 23.04.2019 | Name days: Jurģis, Juris, Georgs
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Party asks ministry to assess if Riga mayor acted legally by not viewing tax matter

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RURiga City Council’s National Alliance ‘All for Latvia’ – ‘For Fatherland and Freedom/LNNK’ has turned to Environment Protection and Regional Development Minister Kaspars Gerhards with a request to evaluate the decision of Riga Mayor Nils Ušakovs to exclude from the agenda the matter on real estate tax discounts, as confirmed by the party’s representative Edvards Ratnieks.

At the same time, the party wants to know if Ušakovs acted in accordance with the law by derailing the extraordinary meeting organized specifically to discuss this matter.

The faction believes that with this matter disappearing form the meeting’s agenda, and the extraordinary meeting basically falling apart as a result, Ušakovs has breached the Local Governments Law and regulations that govern Riga City Council meetings.

«Legislation states materials included in meetings’ agenda at least 48 hours prior to its beginning are compulsory for review. The chairman ceased the extraordinary meeting for an unspecified period of time, mentioning some bureaucratic obstacles. At the same time, he mentioned no way to avert said obstacles to properly review this matter. Our faction believes by doing this the mayor breached regulations that permit one-third of deputies to call an extraordinary meeting to discuss important social issues,» Ratnieks explains.

The faction has asked Environment Protection and Regional Development Ministry to investigate this situation and apply sanctions where necessary.

At the same time, the party also asks the minister to propose amendments to the Local Governments Law that would provide regulations to govern the way city council, committee and extraordinary meetings are organized and halted by establishing terms for review of important topics on the agenda. City council members believe it is necessary to introduce regulations to govern the way matters submitted by deputies are added to meetings’ agenda for review.

On 5 November, members of the opposition of Riga City Council organized an extraordinary meeting to discuss amendments proposed by deputy Jurģis Klotiņš. He proposed reducing real estate tax for some residents of the Latvian capital.

On 17 October, however, this particular topic disappeared from the agenda of the Finance and Administrative Affairs Committee’s meeting shortly before its beginning even though it was there previously. During the meeting, the mayor said this topic was added to the meeting’s agenda because of a rapporteur’s mistake and that supposedly deputies and rapporteurs had been send an updated agenda prior to the meeting.


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