A motion to better track municipal tax payments which are made with cash was passed unanimously by Vancouver City council this week.
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The motion, introduced by Councillor Melisssa De Genova, and entitled, “Deterring and Preventing Money Laundering and the Business of Organized Crime in the City of Vancouver,” calls for the city to work with provincial levels of government and – when appropriate – law enforcement agencies to “prevent money laundering that could be directly or indirectly linked to businesses operating with or without a business license in the City of Vancouver.”
De Genova said people could pay their taxes or permit fees with “bags of cash,” that is undocumented, and could give rise to money laundering.
The motion gives the city the ability to require “voluntary stringent financial reporting” including audited financial statements, from businesses, individuals, corporations and companies when paying specific taxes, business licenses, or other city fees.
It also called for a system which would allow the city to share “pertinent information” with the appropriate authorities to prevent and deter money laundering.
The motion was brought forward following a report by Perter German and commissioned by the Attorney General’s Office, which estimated over $100 million dollars has been laundered in BC.
Following the vote both De Genova and Mayor Kennedy Stewart tweeted their satisfaction with the outcome.
Thanks Vancouver City Council 4 UNANIMOUSLY supporting my motion-deterring & preventing money laundering + organized crime @cityofvancouver Looking forward to recommendations from staff w/ input from @VancouverPD . Time 2 stop payment of taxes + fines w/ bags of cash! #vanpoli pic.twitter.com/wBNqH4ZoD9
— Melissa De Genova (@MelissaDeGenova) January 30, 2019
Happy to see unanimous support for @MelissaDeGenova‘s motion calling for enhanced financial tracking of payments made for taxes & services. Grateful as well for the inclusion of my amendment looking at the role of unregulated cryptocurrency ATMs in #MoneyLaundering #vanpoli pic.twitter.com/Yxrn2QeGTj
— Kennedy Stewart (@kennedystewart) January 30, 2019