The transitional and final provisions of the Bill on Amendments to the Local Taxes and Fees Act (LTFA) of 10.07.2020 submitted to the National Assembly (NA) propose a provision in support of the persons liable for the municipal waste fee. It refers to those who, as a result of the declared state of emergency declared by a decision of the National Assembly from 13.03.2020, have ceased their activities and, accordingly, the use of the real estate necessary for it.
The proposed amendment to the law is formulated in the Bill, as follows:
- 3. (1) The Municipal Council may exempt the obligated persons – enterprises, which as a result of the state of emergency declared by a decision of the National Assembly March 13, 2020, have ceased their economic activity carried out in real estate on the territory of the municipality, from payment of the fee for municipal waste for the service of garbage collection and garbage removal for a certain period from 2020.
(2) The cease of the activity for the respective period shall be certified by the persons under para. 1 with financial and other documents, in an order and manner determined by the Мunicipal Council.
Up to the current moment, with the provision of art. 71 of the LTFA there is а possibility the fee for garbage collection and disposal not to be collected when the service is not being provided by the municipality or if the property is not used throughout the year, but provided that a declaration is submitted by the owner or the user of the property, until the end of the previous year.
As can be seen for the last 4 months, a number of shops, restaurants and even hotels have had to completely cease operations. However, the current legal framework does not regulate the cases for which, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the state of emergency declared on March 13, the persons do not use the real estates due to the cessation of their activity in them. Thus, due to the extraordinary and unforeseeable circumstances, the obligated persons, mostly in the scope of business, could not foresee the occurrence of the extraordinary epidemic situation in the country and respectively to submit the necessary declaration under Art. 71 of the LTFA until the end of the previous 2019 in order to be exempt from the fee this year. Often, depending on the activity of a trader, these fees can be significantly high and burdensome, especially in times of economic crisis.
In this regard, the present Bill proposes to enable the Municipal Council to exempt the relevant persons who have ceased their economic activity, located in a certain property from paying the fee for municipal waste for the service of garbage collection and disposal for a certain period of 2020. The aim is to reduce administrative burdens and to support businesses affected by the crisis. It is envisaged that the cease of the activity for the respective period will be proved by financial and other documents, as the exact order and manner should be additionally determined by additional acts of the municipal councils.